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Police hunt magic mushroom pusher

POLICE in Thanet have issued a warning after three children were treated in hospital for the effects of Magic Mushrooms. Officers were alerted after three incidents in three weeks.

The most recent was on May 16. Officers from the Crime Reduction Unit at Margate Police Station are now carrying out enquiries to identify the source and supplier of the mushrooms which have made some of the children particularly ill.

Inspector Iain McKenzie has researched the drug on the drug advice website talktofrank.com.

He said: “According to the site it seems Magic Mushrooms aren’t addictive, but can result in very serious illness. They are known to distort sense of time and movement, leaving users very disorientated.

“I understand that in some cases the mushrooms can complicate any existing mental health issues a person has.”

He added: “We need to track down the source of these Magic Mushrooms before more young people end up in hospital. I would urge anyone with information to call me."

Magic mushrooms are usually one of two species, both very different. The most common form is called psilocybe, the other more potent variety is amanita muscaria.

Psilcybin mushrooms are small and tan coloured and bruise blue when touched. Amanita Muscaria look like the red and white spotted toadstools seen in fairy stories.

Both mushrooms grow in the wild, but can be quite easily confused with other, poisonous mushrooms and fungi, which can kill. Both types of mushroom cause hallucinogenic trips, which can be pleasant experiences or extremely frightening.

The effects for both mushrooms can take between 30 minutes to two hours to happen. The strongest part of the trip takes 4-10 hours and the after-effects usually last a further 2-6 hours.

The more a person takes, the longer a trip could last. Possession of raw magic mushrooms is not illegal. However, as soon as they are prepared, for example stewed or dried they become a Class A drug.

Possession can then result in up to seven years in prison and an unlimited fine. Supplying someone else with Magic Mushrooms lead to life imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Margate Police on Thanet 231055.

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