Please note that since this article was written laws have changed and mushrooms are a classed drug and could land you in jail.For those who’d like to read what used to be, please read the article below.If you’ve ever taken a stroll down the streets of Central London,
sights like the one above should not be uncommon to you. In places such
as Camden and Tottenham Court, “magic mushrooms” are openly advertised
for sale on the street and are easily available for purchase to the
general public. But what exactly are these legal highs all about and
what do the laws governing them state?

Magic mushrooms contain the hallucinogenic chemicals, psilocybin and
psilocin which, when ingested, mimic the effects of a mild LSD trip by
distorting one’s vision. Surely one should then expect these natural
wonders to be classified as illegal, when they clearly are not. The
Misuse of Drugs Act categorizes these chemicals, when prepared, as a
‘Class A’ drug which distinctly carries the most severe penalties –
seven years imprisonment with an unlimited fine for supplying or
dealing. Why then can the average Joe Ordinary possess these ‘shrooms’
without landing himself a criminal record?

Well, in a specific case in 1981, it was stated that "in order for the
mushrooms to be prepared they had to cease being in their natural
growing state and in some way be altered by the hand of man to put them
in a condition in which they could be used for human consumption". Then
in 1990, the laws surrounding illegal mushroom preparation stated that
it was enough for the mushrooms to have been picked, packaged and
frozen in order for a conviction. This clearly shows that the laws
governing preparation and production, have changed and are still
changing. But according to an article in the Independent, mushrooms are
not illegal when appearing in their fresh state. This leaves a slightly
curious and questioning loophole, which is basically this: Fresh magic
mushrooms are definitely not illegal, whereas alternatively, the sale
or possession of cooked or dried mushrooms are. At the moment the
legalities of magic mushrooms are highly ambiguous and still under
discussion and it seems as if the long arm of the law, will surely
tighten its grip on this mysterious fungus in the future. It is likely
that at one stage or another, the sale of magic mushrooms, whether
dried or not, could soon be regarded as illegal.

Not much is known about the community’s modern usage of this drug. The
most recent statistics from the British Crime Survey reports that 10
percent of people aged between 16 and 29 in the UK, have been under the
influence of magic mushrooms in at least once in their life. One would
have thought that with its open availability, this percentage would
have been higher, but with the law clamping down, we can only expect
these numbers to drop. Even so, it is doubtful if these highs – legal
or not, will ever be totally eradicated from society. As U.S
journalist, Hunter S. Thompson once said, “I hate to advocate drugs
alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone but they have always worked for