Are psychedelics legal?
Psychedelics are generally illegal globally, apart from a few places in South America. Some limited psychedelic use is legal in the USA. Denver and Oakland have decriminalized mushrooms but most other psychedelics remain illegal. Even mushrooms remain illegal at the federal level. Thanks to MAPS.org, MDMA has been approved for PTSD therapy by the FDA.
Psychedelics have a complex legal status around the world. While some countries have decriminalized or legalized certain psychedelics, others still consider them to be illegal and impose harsh penalties for possession or distribution. The legal status of psychedelics is constantly evolving, and it is important to understand the laws in your own country or region.
In the United States, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) classifies psychedelics as Schedule I drugs, which are considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. This means that the possession, distribution, and use of psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin, and DMT are illegal under federal law. However, some states and cities have recently passed legislation to decriminalize or legalize certain psychedelics for therapeutic or religious purposes. For example, in 2020, Oregon became the first US state to legalize psilocybin therapy, allowing licensed therapists to administer the substance to patients with mental health conditions.
In other parts of the world, the legal status of psychedelics varies widely. In some countries, such as the Netherlands and Portugal, psychedelic use is decriminalized or tolerated for personal use. In the Netherlands, “smart shops” sell truffles (which contain psilocybin) and other psychoactive substances, although the sale of stronger psychedelics like LSD is illegal. In Portugal, the possession and use of all drugs, including psychedelics, has been decriminalized since 2001.
In some other countries, psychedelics are still considered illegal and can lead to serious legal consequences. In many Asian countries, for example, drug laws are extremely strict, and possession or distribution of psychedelics can result in long prison sentences or even the death penalty. In other countries, such as Russia and the United Arab Emirates, all forms of drug use are considered criminal offenses.
It is important to note that even in countries where psychedelics are legal or decriminalized, it is still illegal to sell or distribute them without proper licensing or certification. Additionally, possession of large quantities of psychedelics can still lead to criminal charges, even if they are decriminalized for personal use.
European countries have closed a well-known loophole in the law in the Netherlands: magic mushrooms resemble class I drugs, so their use is completely prohibited. To be clear, the use of fresh mushrooms is not illegal in the Netherlands.
There are currently no accepted medical applications for psilocybin mushrooms in the United States, and they cannot be prescribed by a licensed provider or purchased at a pharmacy. You can buy and eat it in the form of magic truffles, which are only part of the mushroom, but you cannot buy it in pharmacies.
Under Colombian law, possession of a controlled substance, including psilocybin mushrooms, is a level 2 drug offense under Colombian law. Penalties for using psilocin mushrooms include a fine of up to $750 or 12 months in prison or both.
Unprocessed psychoactive mushrooms have been legally owned since December 2008 and can be purchased in smart shops that specialize in ethnobotanical products. However, they are covered by the opium law, making it illegal to possess, consume, or sell them. This has led to some controversy as to whether or not psycho-active mushrooms of some species, such as truffles, are banned.
The psilocybin fungus is not mentioned in any national drug law, but it is found in Hawaii, where it is popularly known as Pulouaitu. There are no legal restrictions on the use of magic mushrooms, which makes their legality somewhat unclear. However, as stated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the International Narcotics Control Board (IBNB), Both psilocin and psilocybin belong to a class of Schedule I drugs under the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Spores that do not contain psilocin or psilocybin may be legally purchased, possessed or sold, but not for other purposes.
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic substance and is found in over 200 types of mushrooms, colloquially known as “magic mushrooms.” There is a good chance that you will see a magic mushroom spot growing in your own garden or in a nearby field or forest.
There are religious groups committed to its sacramental use, and psilocybin mushrooms have been decriminalized to varying degrees. Amazingly, it is legal to grow mushrooms in New Mexico, but you cannot buy a cultivation kit with spores, own small quantities, or pick a naturally grown mushroom in the wild.
Some countries do not allow any form of psilocybin, and some cannot even be picked for their spores.
Most countries fall into this category, but I believe this will change over time and I am optimistic about the future of psilocybin in the United States.
The current reform movement in psychedelics in North America has many of the same characteristics as the cannabis industry in its early days. At the time, many wondered whether legal cannabis dispensaries would become a reality. The same questions are beginning to arise in this new psychedelic space about the possibility of legal retail outlets.
Oakland has gone a step further by decriminalizing the use of other psychoactive plant substances such as peyote, iboga, and ayahuasca. The measure, which applies to herbal hallucinogens such as psilocybin and mescaline, does not legalize natural psychedelics, which remain illegal under state and federal law. But they have shown tremendous medical success in treating a wide range of illnesses, from anxiety and depression to anxiety disorders and PTSD.
Instead, it limits the use of municipal funds to reach users, explaining that the use, possession, cultivation, or distribution of plant-based hallucinogens is a low priority for local police.
In 2018, California’s effort to decriminalize magic mushrooms failed to qualify for the statewide election. A group called Decriminalize California set up a campaign office in Hollywood and plans to try again in 2020, but the Oakland City Council voted against decriminalizing the magic mushroom in 2018, making the Bay Area the second city in the United States to do so.
Unlike the Denver initiative passed in May, the Oakland resolution will allow people to own it without the added paranoia of being locked up.
Denver, Colorado, and Oakland, California, have signed laws to decriminalize magic mushrooms, allowing researchers to explore potential medical benefits. The mushroom activist group Decriminalize California sees it as a first step toward ending the ban on psychedelics nationally. Los Angeles is the home base for the decriminalization of California.