Amsterdam cracking down on drugs..


In Amsterdam the Psilocybe cubensis has become a regular on the menu of stimulants offered to visitors. The "magic mushroom," as it is more commonly known, has a lot going for it. It's cheap, it's organic, and upon consumption the coolest things happen to you: dustbins turn into green dragons, trees turn into vertical lines, and faces take on funny shapes. Yet the mushroom's biggest asset in the Netherlands is that it's legal. Just drop by one of Amsterdam's so-called "smart shops," with self-explanatory names such as Euphoria, Conscious Dreams or Altered State. For less than 20 bucks popular brands like Philosopher's Stone or the Golden Teacher will give you a mesmerizing evening.

Holland's fungus fantasy, however, could soon be over. Last week the Dutch health minister proposed a total ban on the sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms in the Netherlands. If the government has its way, which is very likely, the mushroom will become an illegal drug within a few months. The ban will almost certainly spell the end of an industry that has been flourishing in Holland since the mid '90s, forcing the majority of smart shops to start selling wooden shoes or Delft Blue pottery. But it also, some argue, heralds the end of the country's world-famous lenient drug policy.

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