Starting December 1st 2008, magic mushrooms (also known as “Paddo’s”) will be banned in the Netherlands. This bill is the result of a proposal put forward by the ministers of health and justice, Ab Klink and Hirsch Ballin.
The decision, backed by a majority of members of parliament, was taken after a number of accidents mostly involving tourists.
The health ministry said the number of incidents following the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms had risen from 55 in 2004 to more than 100 in 2007, mainly in Amsterdam.
In March 2007 a 17-year-old French girl, Gaelle Caroff, who had consumed magic mushrooms died when she jumped off a bridge in the Dutch capital, though no formal link was made between her death and the use of the drug.
The ban on cultivation and use of the mushrooms means the closure of the smartshops that sell them. Sale of dried mushrooms is already forbidden, but fresh ones are allowed.
Use and possession of cannabis was de-penalized in 1976 in the Netherlands. It is sold in coffee shops under licence, in small doses.