|Hello and welcome to our News archives. In this section you will find
a wide variety of newspaper clippings regarding the visionary mushrooms.
I Started to catalogue these clippings back in 1976.
They are arranged alphabetically by countries and newspapers and then Chronologically by dates.
|The Sunday Times
November 20, 1977, Page 2
Thirty Pounds Sterling an Oz. Toadstool.
A species of toadstool found growing in mid-Wales is being used by drug addicts as a substitute for LSD. It has similar halolucinogenic properties but is much cheaper. Local police revealed yesterday that they had seized quantities of the processed toadstools, which, because of the growing demand, are now selling u0p to 30 pounds an ounce on the London drug market.
|The Sunday Observer
September 14, 1980, Page 3.
Festival of the Hippies
The tiny mushrooms known as 'psillys' because of the mind-bending psylocybin they contain, are being plucked like daises from the hillsides at Pontyhydygroes, in Mid-Wales.
They are the reson why Indian TeePees have been erected on a gentle bend in the River Ystwyth as 400 celebrate a free drug festival watched by bemused police and apprehensive locals.
Although the mini-mushroom has an effect similar to LSD and can produce hallucinations, it is quite legal to possess it. Police who have mounted stringent road blocks to check on 'the bloody queer folk' flocking to the festival admit they can't arrest the mushroom pickers.
They are more concerned with the plethora of other drugs such as hashish, LSD and even heroin they suspect to be in the wigwams on the alluvian plain surrounded by mountains. Extra police were still outnumbered 20 to one.
Inside the festival there is a gentle carnnival atmosphere. Food and mushrooms are shared. The Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe bus can provide you with a latrine shovel and food and magic mushrooms.
The drug squad--both of them--gave up trying to 'trepass' on the site. One police car was driven off in a barrage of stones.
An 11-year-old girl was selling 'Mrs Normal's hash cakes" and raised the price from 1 pound to 2 pounds each when demand increased from hippies arriving in Chevette vans and battered VW Beetles.
The festival is possibly the only meeting place of the hard core of 'new Gypsies' who travel with horse and cart and erect covered wagon-shaped tents called 'benders' from bent over saplings.
Many at the festival feel that the magic mushroom could lead to the return of the hippies as an important movement. The mushrooms are more potent than alcohol and free, as against the 50 pounds an ounce a drug user pays for hashish.
'I suppose you could call it a hippy cottage industry' says Ber, one of the festival's leaders; sipping coffee in his bender.
'A lot of people come here to pick mushrooms to sell. WE know quite a few of them. The market for them isn't in this country but on the continent, in Holland and Germany.'
The mushrooms sell from 3 pounds to 4 pounds a gramme. In Germany it can be as much as 10 pounds a gramme.
Bev, age 33, who is married to a cheerful women called Del, is dressed in a grey jumpsuit with an Arab head scarf.
'The strange thing is that these things have never really caugtht on,' he grins. 'the Beatniks used them, buit its never really been a popular thing.' At the festival it is very, very popular; mushroom quiche suddenly takes on a different meaning.
What makes Bev and the others turn nasty is what they see as constant police harrassment.
When I went on a mushroom hunt a young drugs squad detective in a red Rover car told me he would like to expose the film in my camera, if I took pictures of other uniformed policemen searching the van in front.
On a mushroom hunt the atmosphere is similar to apple scrumping, where more are eaten then kept. 'you have to pinch the stalks at the bottom to stop them turning blue,' said an elfin creature called Min.
'We are going to have a real problem getting them back,' she said. 'They will search the van for other drugs and then go through everything from tax disc to tyres; they wouldn't do that to you.'
Pete, aged 36, had lived on the road all his working life and is a proud grandfather. He is very angry that outsiders, as he sees them, will not leave the festival alone.
'People ay, how can you bring up children like this,' said Pete. 'But our children are happy and healthy, and we care more for them than people who put theirs in boxes called houses.' A group nearby passed round a pipe of hash.
The reaction of the villagers in next door Pontrhydygroes is mixed.
'I won't serve them,' said landlord David Evans of the Miners Arms. 'I want them to go. But Mrs. Corris Davies of the post office, is glad of the trade.
Inspector Terry Adams of Aberystwyth police station, pointed out that the police were not stopping people because of the mushrooms." 'WE just like to know what's happening on our patch. A lot of these people have commited controlled drugs offences."
Inspecitr Adams said there had been 15 arrests.
'What's the hit like?' a pretty young policewomen asked a hippy girl. 'What do the mushrooms do?'
The girl ignored her--she was about the serious business of taking her pet toad for a walk on a rainbow coloured cosmic leash and the policewomen was not to know [what the mushrooms were like].
|The Post Graduate Medical Journal|
Volume 57 (#671):571-572. September, 1981.
Sequelae of a 'magic mushroom banquet'
Anthony D. Harris, M.A., M.R.C.P and Valmai Evans, M.B., B.Ch.
Department of Gastroenterology, University of Wales, Cardiff
The Electronic Telegraph
Thursday 22 November 1996
Darts Team Hit By Magic Mushrooms
A DARTS match had to be abandoned after 10 members of the visiting team began hallucinating after unwittingly eating home-baked cakes laced with "magic mushrooms."
The ten had tucked intot he traditional flour-covered Welsh cakes given to them earlier at an unrelated event at a club in Trecenydd.
It was only after the Caerphilly team began playing in a Glamorgen Super League away game at Llanharry on Tuesday that the added ingredient became evident.
Bemused Pontyclun opponents watched as players began behaving oddly, some in paroxysms of laughter and others in tears as the hallucinogenic drug psilocybin took effect.
Ten players, aged 21 to 62, were taken to hospital. Three of them with heart conditions were still detained yesterday while the rest were released.
Four players who were unaffected had apparently declined the cakes becasue they were dieting.
Before the match, the Caerphilly team members had met their usual venue at Fortyninecorrect Club. Detectives believe most of them ate some of the food which had been left over form an 18th birthday party held there.
The players then set off to play the super league game against at the Fox and Hounds public house ten miles away Mid-Glamorgan, on Shrove Tuesday evei ning.
"They started laughing and giggling and some burstinto tears. They were falling down, sitting on the floor and just acting plain stupid."
Dennis Morgan, 45, Captain of the Caerphilly team, said: "My team just started going down like ninepins. One minute we were winning 3-1 and confident of victory, the next it all started to go wrong. It was as if all of my team were dead drunk. It was really weird."
Morgan continued, "I only had half a cake and wasn't affected as badly as the rest of the team. I just felt dizzy and out-of-sorts but some of them were a bit greedy and scoffed seven cakes. They were in a terrible state."
Mr. Morgan, a chemical worker, from the Penyrheol, Caerphilly, added: "We called in at our club before we left and ate the cakes which were handed to us by some youngsters.
"The cakes were delicious but none of us would have enjoyed them if we knew what was in them."
"They didn't take effect for about two hours - and by that time we were on our way to a win against one of the best teams in the league." A South Wales Police spokesman said they had recovered one of the cakes which was being examined by forensic scientists.
A local man of 39 and a woman aged 19 were being held in custody at Caerphilly police station yesterday in connect with the incident.
|Magic mushrooms for sale in city arcade.
7 August 2004
SHOPPERS are able to buy drugs over the counter in one of Wales’ most prestigious shopping arcades.
Police are investigating after an Echo reporter bought magic mushrooms from Banana Planet, in Cardiff’s Castle Arcade.
Yet the manager of the business, which specialises in juices and smoothies, has claimed he is doing nothing wrong.
For the past few weeks the cafe has been trading in the hallucinogenic fungi, which it advertises in the front window.
Gareth Thomas, 28, of Canton, said: “It’s quite popular and we get all types of people asking about them from those in their 50s and 60s to professionals, young people and backpackers.”
When dried, magic mushrooms are considered a Class A drug, putting them in the same bracket as heroin and cocaine.
Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 people convicted of supplying them can face life imprisonment and an unlimited fine, while those guilty of possession may earn seven years in jail and a fine.
Although the shop sells the mushrooms raw the Home Office told the Echo Gareth may be breaking the law by packing them in sealed plastic bags, as they are then considered “prepared”.
A spokesman said: “Our view is that if fresh magic mushrooms are packaged as a product for sale than that is unlawful.”
Detective Inspector Andrew Davies of Cardiff Central CID added: “The consumption of this kind of product can prove detrimental to your health and is something we would discourage.
“We are investigating the disclosures which have been made to us. If any offence is found to have been committed, South Wales Police will take the appropriate action.”
Former Cardiff Law student Gareth said: “We have done the research and the Home Office have sent us letters that fresh mushrooms unprocessed are totally legal to grow, sell and give away as a side-product.
“As soon as it’s made illegal we will get away from it and not be involved. I think the law should be clear, concise and not open to interpretation.”However in reply the Home Office spokesman said: “We do not think there is any confusion - it’s a legal issue and we encourage the police to take action.”
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