In another effort to protect us from ourselves, the man in charge of our National Drugs Strategy, Noel Ahern TD, has announced on RTÉ radio today that he will bring forward secondary legislation to criminalise the possession of mushrooms containing certain active substances. Quite how ad hoc decisions made without much effort at justification count as "strategic" is beyond me, but this is politicians we're dealing with.
At the moment, it is only illegal to possess magic mushrooms that have been processed, e.g. dried or cut.
When it was suggested to Mr. Ahern that perhaps people should be left to decide these things for themselves, he warned us all that magic mushrooms can be dangerous and addictive. The 'addictive' claim is well open to dispute, and mushrooms are far less dangerous than, say, alcohol and lots of other legal things.
Mr. Ahern was also less than reassuring on how people will turn from law-abiding citizens to drug-offence criminals simply by picking up a certain type of mushroom. It is entirely possible that under his new legislation, anyone who picks up some mushrooms to clean their garden or a field will be guilty of possession of controlled drugs.
In other news, some road in India is to be named after Eamon de Valera. It's truly a great little nation we live in.