Horticulturalist wants magic mushrooms legalised
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THE magical effect of magic mushrooms was hailed in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, during an application by a horticulturalist, who is fighting to have this fungi legalised.
Channelie Vanderberg (corr) turned to the court for a stay of her prosecution in the lower court on charges of possession and cultivating magic, mushrooms, pending a legal challenge in the Western Cape High Court.
In the application she and other applicants will ask the court to remove the possession and use of psilocybin from the list of banned substances.
Judge Selby Baqwa granted the application.
Vandenberg, 32, is at present employed at a company called the Mushroom Guru and she conducts workshops on how to grow a variety of mushrooms for culinary and medical purposes.
“All the mushrooms we cultivate are legal and not prohibited by any law,” she said in papers before court.
But prior to her present employment, while she was living in Pretoria with her estranged husband, they cultivated a range of natural healing plants, which they distributed to the public.
They were arrested in October last year following a police raid for the cultivation of psilocybin containing mushrooms.
The pair had to spend two nights in a police cell before they were released on R2 000 bail each.
Their case was postponed as she wanted to challenge the criminalisation of the use, enjoyment and cultivation of magic mushrooms.
Vandenberg explained that psilocybin is a naturally occurring hallucinogenic substance found in various types of mushrooms.
“It is known to have therapeutic applications and its use dates back thousands of years where it was used by ancient indigenous cultures around the globe.”
She said studies has shown that it is especially known to assist people with severe depression.
Vandenberg said she is not a criminal, yet she is treated as one because of her beliefs.