Sham ‘shrooms: Man touts porcinis as psychedelic mushrooms

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A Pennsylvania man is behind bars for trying to pass off regular ol’ mushrooms as magic mushrooms.

The first clue that something might be off with this drug-free drug deal? It happened in a supermarket parking lot.

Police in Ephrata, Penn., located in northern Lancaster County, say that Jayson Hartman chopped up some shiitake and porcini mushrooms, portioned them out into plastic bags and then tried to sell them as psychedelic mushrooms. The attempted sale allegedly took place on Nov. 8. Police recovered a $30 grocery store receipt for the mushrooms.

Hartman had arranged to meet his alleged buyer through Facebook, WHP-TV reported. And even though he wasn’t actually selling real drugs, he was still violating state drug laws, Ephrata police Sgt. Philip Snavely told the Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era. He was arrested on Friday and is being held in lieu of $40,000 bail.


Psychedelic mushrooms, or psilocybin mushrooms, contain ‘psychoactive compounds’ psilocybin and psilocin. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and potency, and some could pass for run-of-the-mill mushrooms, especially when shredded, according to a photo gallery at, a website dedicated to ‘magic mushrooms demystified.’

According to the site’s ‘trip reports’ filed by psychedelic mushroom afficionados, effects range from mild ‘stoning’ to ‘total loss of visual connection with reality.’

Such effects cannot be had by consuming porcini or shiitake mushrooms.


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-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

File photo: These are wild porcini mushrooms. But they won’t do anything but tantalize your taste buds. Credit: David Karp / Los Angeles Times