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Magic mushrooms are mushrooms that grow in the wild. They produce similar hallucinogenic-type effects to LSD when you eat them. There are two main types and they’re quite different. The most common form is a species called psilocybe semilanceata or ‘liberty cap’, while the other more potent variety is amanita muscaria or ‘fly agaric’. There are deadly poisonous species of amanitas, so if you don't know what you're doing, it’s wise not to take them.
Slang: Street names for drugs can vary around the country. Magic mushrooms, Liberties, magics, mushies, liberty cap, shrooms, Amani, agaric.
Chances of getting hooked
Magic mushrooms are not addictive although, like with LSD, you can become tolerant of the effects quite quickly.
The new Drugs Act 2005 has changed the law so that now both fresh and prepared (e.g. dried or stewed) magic mushrooms that contain psilocin or psilocybin are classified as Class A drugs. Possession can get you up to seven years in jail and/or an unlimited fine. Supplying someone else, including your friends, with magic mushrooms can get you life imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.
Appearance and use
Psilocybe Semilanceata, or liberty caps, are small and tan-colored and they bruise blue when they're touched. Amanita Muscaria, or fly agaric, mushrooms are more like the red and white spotted toadstools you see in fairytale books.
After picking, they're often eaten raw or are dried out and stored. Most people take between 1-5 grams. The fly agaric mushrooms tend not to be consumed raw as they can cause severe nausea.
The biggest danger with taking any magic mushrooms is making sure you’ve picked the right thing. There are hundreds of varieties and some of them are highly poisonous.
As you'd expect with something that grows naturally, the strength varies depending on the freshness, the season and there are regional variations.
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