Mum whose son died after suffering 'bad trip' while taking magic mushrooms calls for change in law
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The mother of a student who died after taking magic mushrooms has called for the law to be changed.
Laura Vesterinen-Maury was horrified when she found out that her son Antoine had passed away after drinking a tea made from the hallucinogenic mushrooms. She was then furious to discover that the means to grow the mushrooms can legally be bought and sold.
Antoine, 21, had been studying at Edinburgh University, and suffered a 'bad trip' in 2016 after drinking mushroom tea and went missing. Five weeks later he was found deceased in a Loch.
The active ingredient in the mushrooms that produces hallucinogenic effects, called Psilocin, is a Class A drug.
While magic mushrooms are illegal in the UK, selling the microscopic spores is not currently against the law.
This is because the spores do not contain any psilocin. However, if you were to purchase the spores and then grow them into mushrooms, that would be breaking the law.
For Laura, this does not go far enough, and she has called for the law to be changed.
She told The Mirror: “I want to prevent another family going through what I’ve gone through - I want people to know how dangerous these drugs are. I can’t believe it’s legal.
“I know what can happen. People can become vulnerable when they take them and can lose control. That is the way my son died. The sellers of these spores are putting people in danger.
“To them it’s just a business. The government needs to change the law.”
So-called 'spore kits' are available to purchase online. It's not just hallucinogenic varieties which are available, there are also edible mushrooms which people can buy to grow at home.
In this form, the spores are legal to use, as they don't have the active component yet.
Harry Sumnall, professor in substance use at Liverpool John Moores University, said: “Spore kits don’t contain any fungus with these chemicals. This means that sale or possession of spore kits is not against the law.
“However, once people start to use the kit and grow magic mushrooms they are committing drug production and possession offences.”
In one kit purchased by an undercover reporter at The Mirror there was also a note which read: "Oh yeah - these spores are for microscopy [scientific study] only - any other use is naughty."
A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “This Government’s approach is to prevent drug misuse and support people through treatment and recovery.”