The decision to ban the sale and possession of magic mushrooms has prompted debate about how drug policies are formulated.

Anti-drug campaigners such as Grainne Kenny, President of Europe Against Drugs, have welcomed the announcement. While she applauds the Government’s move to make magic mushrooms a prohibited substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act, she is critical of how long it has taken them to come to this decision.

Others like Stuart Clarke assistant editor of Hotpress Magazine, say prohibition will not stop the supply of a naturally-occurring substance.

Magic mushrooms have been around since, God, centuries ago. People know exactly where to go to pick them, on golf courses and woods, so supply won’t change.

In the absence of any other policy on the issue the ban is most likely to drive the use of magic mushrooms underground.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 31 January 2006. The reporter is Niamh Nolan.