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Mushroom Grow Found in Richland County

Police responded to a disturbance call on Devonport Drive in a nice suburban, residential area about 15 miles north of Colombia. At the home they found hallucinogenic mushrooms – some already harvested and some still growing. James Rea was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and manufacturing with intent to distribute. For the latter charge, “manufacturing” can be simply picking and drying out the magic mushrooms.

This is rather unusual, but not because growing magic mushrooms is hard. Kits and spores are available online. The reason is probably the popularity and the dosage used with hallucinogens. For whatever reason, they do not seem to be as addictive as other drugs of abuse. And because a little goes a long way, without the repeated dosing element you get with addiction, it doesn’t take much to supply an entire area.

A pictorial slideshow of the bust can be seen from WISTV on their website.

Unlike marijuana grows, which can be huge operations requiring a substantial amount of electricity to run lights and heaters, growing magic mushrooms can be done in a cool area under the house. A cardboard box can provide enough space as well as concealment.

In this case, the officers were called because of a dispute over drugs. They knew there was something going on. And this is why it is hard to find and bust these operations. The easy concealment of both the grow and the subsequent product – a small bag of dried mushrooms that look pretty much like the dried mushrooms you’d buy in the store.

The penalties for the offense are nothing to laugh at. With mandatory minimum sentencing, Mr. Rea could be looking at a $5,000 fine and five years in prison.


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