Thank-you all for your ideas and comments, they have been very useful.
Some thoughts on some of the issues raised;
What do the cops know?
Here I am specifically referring to what the Victorian police department knows. In the early 80s a forensic scientist produced a thesis titled “Analysis of Hallucinogens in Psilocybe-type mushrooms”. His thesis covers a variety of different topics, but its prime purpose was to develop different techniques for extracting and measuring the potency of the substances Psilocybe and Psilocin in Subaeruginosa. Furthermore to investigate how stable the substances were in a variety of differing conditions over time, there is also some notes on synthesis. This information was gathered for help in prosecuting “a person [that] has been charged with selling or trafficking 0.1 gram or above of psilocybin or psilocin” (86).
I have spoken to the author, who still works for the police and he is willing to speak for the documentary about the police and Magic Mushrooms, but we have to get it cleared by his supervisor. Unofficially however, he did tell me that in the 80s the Victorian police where expecting an epidemic breakout in Pscilocybin consumption, and I guess judging by the research, the establishment of a network of people that would sell Magic Mushrooms/Psilocybe and Psilocin to the masses. However as far as he is concerned this never eventuated. Unofficially the uses of Magic mushrooms according to my source were and are not a major concern to the Victorian police department.
The most important thing to note here is that the research and prosecution information is not focused at the users of the ‘drug’ but its distributors.
If magic mushrooms are not on the agenda at the top of the pyramid, then they are very unlikely to be an issue at the bottom, e.g. in the minds of the individual policeman.
So there is little the police department in Victoria does not know about magic mushrooms, but they simply do not consider their usage to be a major public health issue.
Will a documentary on Magic Mushrooms create unwanted attention or bad press that may effect our stash?
The documentary is an independent production outside the normal systems of the mass media machine. We hope to get the documentary on SBS, which is only watched by 5% of the population in Australia. This is not considered to be mass exposure, and if you watch SBS you will know a documentary about people using magic mushrooms or other Hallucinogens is not very controversial subject matter. SBS often puts on other programs that challenge the government and ‘commonsense’ notions in a much more radical way. Hallucinogenic drug use is small fry.
We also will be entering the documentary in film festivals, again these completions are run by the educated art elite. They have all been introduced to the concept of psychedelics and know where they fit into culture.
So from my understanding this documentary will not be seen by the kinds of people who are going to somehow tell the government to tell the police department to go get those mushroom eaters. If you do not want bad press come forward and show that you are educated and perfectly normal members of society----not stoners-----YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN IMAGE------We can not blame others for stereotypes if we are not willing to try and correct them.
I also thought that if we released the documentary when it is not mushroom season then any hype would die down by the time they came back into season, minimising any dramatic media attention.
Mushroom takers in social space and nightclubs
There have always been people taking hallucinogenic ‘drugs’ and going out into social space-that is half the fun. Hallucinogenic drug uses at an outdoor Rave event is a given, everybody knows, everybody goes. In the last few weeks I have seen many people in Melbourne rave clubs on them—always funny. Often people go out to places like Belgrave and Warrandyte on mushrooms too. Try Looking up a tree in you local suburban park and you will probably see someone who ‘knows where it is at’ at least once a week. Mushrooms are not some kind of sacred unknown, people know about them and they just think it is normal (too an extent), as long as you do not specifically interfere with their night. The worst kind of person generally in public is a drunken aggressive one, Not a mushroom taker that minds his or her own business.
If you are wondering about the types of people I have already interviewed here is a vague list:
New Age and witches
I am negotiating with many other people but if you have any ideas about who I should defiantly speak to one the subject let me know, and if you wold like to get involved you know how to find us.
[This message has been edited by RonnySimulacrum (edited 13 August 2002).]