Revisited January 14, 2005; November 5, 2007; and April 9, 2017.
Copyright 1998-2017 by John W. Allen,



New Jersey

I would like to mention that many news articles URLS to the original source may have been removed at the source sites.
From valid

Three years ago Tristan Longino wrote a report on psilocybin mushrooms for his freshman biology class. The report contained references to human consumption of the mushrooms. Yesterday, a state appeals court upheld a decision by the state Board of Education barring academic credit to the student for his report. The basis for the decision is that a school should not recognize any student work that seems to promote use of illicit drugs. Put more succinctly, according to the school board, a high school student cannot get credit for a work that "'might reasonably be perceived' as advocating or at least not deterring drug use."

[editor's note, by Moke Dat Yiggarette] The original article is here.
Date: Wed, 20 June 2001 08:48:38 -0700 To:

FC: New Jersey student in trouble for writing paper on 'shrooms.
From: Declan McCullagh [].

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 09:54:02 -0400 (EDT)
From: "J.D. Abolins" <>
To: Matthew Gaylor <>,
Subject: FYI: NJ student's psych fungus paper raises free speech issues
The Trenton Times Wed. 20 June 2001
No fun in psychedelic fungus
Staff Writer
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP -- Tristan Longino never thought his freshman biology
report on psilocybin mushrooms would cause a ruckus.
The fungus -- typically known as "magic mushrooms" because of its
hallucinogenic effect -- seemed like a good topic three years ago because
of the wide variety of available research material, said Longino, who is
now 18 and has just graduated.
But not everyone agreed.
Longino's teacher at Hopewell Valley Central High School refused to give
Longino any credit for the scientific brochure the youngster created until
he removed all references to human consumption of the illegal drug.
Longino refused.
A state appeals court yesterday upheld a decision by the state Board of
Education in support of the school system
<rest of article omitted>
While part of the teacher's response to the paper involved issues of the
writing quality (e.g.; the teacher did not think humor was appropriate for
a science paper), another part of the situation involved the view that
school should not recognize any student work to seems to promote use of
illicit drugs.
An interesting excerpt from the article:
The court ruling also dictated that it did not matter whether Longino
intended to advocate drug use because the brochure "might reasonably be
perceived" as advocating or at least not deterring drug use.
<end of excerpt>
"...not deterring drug use?" Hmmm, does this imply a duty for all student
writers to actively put in anti-drug messages just make sure they were
not "draft dodgers" in the war on drugs? <g>
J.D. Abolins
Meyda Online -- Infosec & Privacy Studies
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CHATHAM, New Jersey Shroom Bust

Borough police bag mushroom man

CHATHAM - Chatham Borough Police arrested a Summit man on May 24 and charged him with possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

The man, David E. Epstein, 22, went into police custody after a motor vehicle stop in the borough.
According to Detective Michael E. Bochniak, Officer Roy George was acting as a backup for the stop initiated by Sergeant Scott O'Connor when, "in plain view, he observed a clear plastic bag containing what appeared to be dried mushrooms (psilocybin).

Police arrested Epstein and transported him to police headquarters where he was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, speeding, and unclear license plates. Police released him on his own recognizance pending a court appearance, Bochniak said.

Also on May 24, Officer George arrested Michael J. Dondiego, 31, of Union on active contempt of court warrants issued by Scotch Plains and Watchung, Bochniak said.

The arrest came after George initiated a motor vehicle stop in the borough and subsequently discovered the warrants. Dondiego, according to police, posted the $1,000 bail and was released on his own recognizance

©Recorder Newspapers 2004.

The Chatham Courier-No State listed
5-30-2004. bust occurred on may 24, 2004

Responses to the above news Item from readers.

Name: psylocibin.
Date: Jun, 14 2004.
poor guy. probably gonna get raped in jail for trying to open his mind to horizons grander than that which the establishment is comfortable with.

Name: Mike O'Logical. Date: Jun, 09 2004
I wonder how it is possible that the officers were able to determine the mushrooms were illegal by only a cursory examination through a plastic bag... positive mushroom identification usually requires an expert with a microscope and using chemical tests...

The Hub, Red Bank New jersey.
March 26, 2004.
Tinton Falls
Two arrested at hotel for drug dealing
Men are believed to be main source for psilocybin in county
Staff Writer

TINTON FALLS ó A two-month investigation culminated in the arrest of two out-of-state men for possession and resale of psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana and paraphernalia out of the Red Roof Inn last week.

On March 20, Tinton Falls detectives, in cooperation with the Monmouth County Prosecutorís Office, obtained a search warrant as a result of their investigation into alleged drug possession and sales out of a room at the Hope Road hotel.

After searching the room occupied by Lonn Imparato, 30, of Fairfield, Vt., and Jason Joseph Mihelic, 29, of Chicago, Ill., detectives seized more than 1.5 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms, more than 1 pound of "high grade" marijuana, about 100 handmade glass pipes, packaging materials and about $20,000 in cash, a prepared statement from the prosecutorís office said.

Packaging materials that were left behind indicated that about 8 pounds of the mushrooms, "known on the street as Ďmagic mushrooms,í " had been sold prior to the search, the statement added.

The mushrooms have a street value of about $2,500 a pound, police said.

"The two subjects arrested are both from out of state and, through intelligence sources, are believed to be responsible for most of the psilocybin mushrooms available in the Monmouth County area," the statement from the prosecutorís office added. "Additionally, the handmade pipes were sold to area stores by one of the defendants and range in price from $30 to $100 wholesale."

Imparato and Mihelic are believed to have stayed in area hotels from three to five days at a time in order to sell their products. They were accompanied by a large dog, which was seized by police at the time of the arrest, police said.

Specifically, Imparato was charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute the mushrooms, a third-degree offense; possession of marijuana, a fourth-degree offense; possession with intent to distribute marijuana, a third-degree offense; and possession of heroin, a third-degree offense; and possession of narcotic paraphernalia, a disorderly persons offense. His bail was set by state Superior Court Judge Paul A Kapalko in the amount of $130,000 with no 10 percent option.

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