In March this year there was an enormous outcry following the death of a 17-year-old French girl, who apparently jumped off the Nemo science museum in Amsterdam and killed herself after eating magic mushrooms.
MPs immediately began calling for the laws on these mushrooms to be tightened – dried ones are classed as a dangerous drug but there are no restrictions on the sale of fresh ones.
This weekend, however, Amsterdam’s Parool newspaper reported that there was no official connection between the girl’s death and hallucinogenic mushrooms. How can it be so sure? Because there was no autopsy and no blood tests find out what drugs, if any, she had been taking.
No-one actually investigated what caused the girl to jump off the building. Her death is officially listed as suicide. A teenage tourist jumps of a building and no-one does a toxicology report on her blood? Incomprehensible.
Proper tests should be a matter of course in an unexpected death, especially when drugs may be involved. How else can the Netherlands monitor the effects of its drug policies?
We now know that the emergency services were called to deal with 128 mushroom related problems last year. But deaths? No-one has a clue. And that is the real scandal.
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