Kodaikanal: This is the age of home deliveries, from groceries to furniture, everything is available at your doorstep. But now, the service has extended to recreational drugs like 'magic mushrooms' as well.
The 'Magic Mushroom' drug cartel operates out of Vattakanal, about seven kilometres from the famous Tamil Nadu hill station of Kodaikanal, and can deliver the psychedelic fungi directly to your house.
The magic mushrooms, or shrooms as they are colloquially called, contain Psilocybin and Psilocin, banned compounds whose side effects include euphoria, altered thinking and hallucination. These mushrooms, which look just like the ones you have in your kitchen, have an effect similar to that of a mild dose of drugs like LSD.
Locals say that magic mushroom was initially used by tribal people for medicinal use, but it slowly gained popularity as a recreational drug. Speaking to CNN-News18, a taxi driver said he could take those interested in the drug to dealers. He further revealed that he could, and has delivered, these drugs to customers in other cities with the help of a local courier.
Staff at two of the most famous hotels in the town also promised an uninterrupted supply of magic mushrooms directly to the room. They even agreed to deliver it to any south Indian city. One of the employees also confessed that in the past, he had even delivered it to places as far away as Pune, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh.
According to sources, the trade is mainly done by the mafia of Mannavanur, a village in Tamil Nadu that is the main source of these magic mushrooms. Posing as a customer, the correspondent set up a meeting with a dealer, but he refused to sell less than 10 dozen magic mushrooms and even threatened with dire consequences when the deal did not materialise.
The police has stepped up vigil on the Vattakanal to Kodaikanal route, there is little it can do, as although the substances Psilocybin and Psilocin are illegal and mentioned in Schedule 1 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, there is no mention of 'magic mushrooms' in the law.
And since this mushroom has not been declared 'illegal', there's nothing that the police or officials from the Narcotics Control Bureau can do to curb its sale and use.