Letter: Drug danger in a mushroom

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Sir: I can ony presume that your home affairs editor temporarily lost control of his senses to publish Michael Prestage's expose of the 'magic mushrooms' season (26 September).

I regularly see youngsters, some mere children, searching for this 'cheap alternative to Ecstasy' in the suburban area where I live. Fortunately, most of these young people appear to struggle with their identification of which fungus to pick. Now the Independent, thanks to the close-up photography of Christopher Jones, is helping these youngsters to spot precisely 'the pointed cup with a nipple on top'.

Mr Prestage's guide goes on to explain to the uninitiated the quantities of fungus to use, and indeed some suggested mushroom dishes. He also explains the legal position so that our youngsters can start their collection without fear of criminality. Additionally, we now understand the economic arguments in favour of using psilocyn rather than Ecstasy.

Is it any wonder that our young people are so easily confused and misled when the Independent descends into the seedy world of drug promotion?

Yours sincerely,

NIGEL RICKARD

Edinburgh

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