“Magic” mushrooms have long been used for healing, in ceremonies and even in psychotherapy. But the law classifies the key hallucinogen of the ancient fungus, Psilocybin, as a controlled dangerous substance, and a group of people who Mahwah police said were processing it for sale now faces fines following a bust at a local condo complex.
Responding to neighbors’ complaints, Mahwah detectives and patrol officers went to the Ridge Road residence, knocked on the door, then saw some of the substances — along with scales, plastic cups and baggies — out in the open, Capt. Stephen Jaffe said this morning.
Allowed in by two men who came to the door, police found three more people, along with more drugs, he said.
“Large quantities” of Psilocybin in individual piles were “being measured utilizing an electronic scale and Solo cups,” Jaffe said, adding that officers also found “an additional large quantity in a clear plastic bag.”
Some of those in the place had small amounts of Xanax and pot, as well, he said.
All five were arrested on a variety of third-degree charges and disorderly persons offenses for possessing Psilocybin, the other drugs and the packaging equipment.
They were identified as:
Frank T. Denigris, 19, who police said lives there;
Ahmad L. Ghiasi, also 19 of Mahwah;
Ryan E. Anesetti, 20, also of Mahwah;
Kenneth P. Major Jr., 20, of Ramsey;
Nahla F. Hassan, also 20, of Paramus.
All were released pending Municipal Court hearings that Jaffe said had not yet been scheduled.
In a recently published study, researchers at the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit at Imperial College in London found that Psilocybin decreases activity in areas of the prefrontal cortex that cause depression. It also has been shown to boost memory, the study says.