Attentive commuters in the capital region have noticed strange behavior among some people on roundabouts lately. Police say these people are likely picking psilocybin mushrooms, which is an annual event at this time of year, and not strictly illegal.
Icelandic mushrooms, not magic. Photo by Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir.
Chief constable Geir Jón Thórisson told Morgunbladid that the police cannot interfere with those who gather mushrooms. “It may not be illegal to pick the mushrooms, but it is illegal to change them into drugs by drying them out.”
However, it is prohibited to be on roundabouts Thórisson pointed out, and commuters can report that to the police. Those who pick psilocybin mushrooms on roundabouts can therefore expect to be removed.
Mushrooms that cause hallucinations have been picked and consumed in Iceland for many years. The main risk involves temporary or permanent mental illness. Psilocybin, the chemical which the mushrooms contain, is categorized as an illegal drug in Iceland.