Hurricane Irene destroyed homes, flooded neighborhoods, and blew many a boat onto dry land. But perhaps one good thing came of it:

The East Coast storm created fertile conditions for the wild growth of psychedelia's favorite pizza topping, the magic mushroom.

So says a Southern California psychologist with experience in treating patients who have had bad trips:

Echoing an observation first reported in the Huffington Post, San Clemente's Simon Casey tells us a hurricane like Irene produces all the right stuff for a bumper shroom crop:

First, the winds spread spores. Second, the rain provides moisture. Third, the clouds provide shade. Fourth, the tropical nature of the storm provides warmth.

'Entourage' goes shrooming.; Credit: HBO

'Entourage' goes shrooming.; Credit: HBO

Casey tells the Weekly:

When you have humid, moist ground there's a large number of mushrooms growing almost instantly. Moisture, warmth and no direct sunlight — you got all the necessary conditions at the same time.

Simon Casey.

Simon Casey.

Unfortunately, wild magic mushrooms, as opposed to those expertly grown by your neighborhood shaman, can be poisonous.

And young people tend to recognize them and eat them anyway, excited by the prospect of a free high.

The problem, Casey says, is that wild growth can also attract additional fungi. The shrooms aren't dried out but in fact continue to fester in a moist environment, and poisonous fungi can find a home in the gills of the mushrooms, creating a toxic plant.


So many kids think they're eating magic mushrooms, but they eating something toxic. I suggest that people stay away from it. You may not know the consequence.

So be careful out there, you East Coast psychonauts.

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