In 1968, the USA officially banned psilocybin. It’s remained illegal ever since, but thanks to the effort of activists and researchers’ these laws could change very soon. An increasing number of studies support the medicinal use of magic mushrooms and their active ingredient, psilocybin.
What’s the Legal Status of Magic Mushrooms in the US?
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At the US federal level, psilocybin is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance.
However, this law doesn’t carry as much weight as you might think because each state has the option to supersede these laws with something else. If state regulators so choose, they could move to legalize magic mushrooms for recreational use, medicinal use, or both.
Magic mushrooms themselves aren’t banned in the US — it’s their active ingredients, psilocybin, and psilocin. Magic mushrooms are considered a “container” for these illegal compounds and are therefore illegal by proxy.
On the other hand, magic mushroom spores (used for cultivation) are legal in most states, as they do not contain either of these psychoactive chemicals.
Many people confuse the terms legalization and decriminalization, thinking they’re synonyms.
As the name implies, decriminalization refers to something ceasing to be considered a crime, or at least minimizing penalties concerning certain acts that are ordinarily criminal.
On the other hand, legalization refers to removing criminal penalties assigned to a particular act, which generally includes statal regulatory presence.
At the moment, the only state that has officially moved to decriminalize magic mushrooms is Oregon.
However, we’ll cover the current status of magic mushroom decriminalization and what penalties apply if these laws are broken.
What’s the Future For Magic Mushrooms in the US?
The war on drugs has been going on for nearly a century and is hurting everyone involved. States waste resources fighting an invisible enemy in a war that can’t be won.
Fortunately, more and more parts of the world are slowly relaxing their drug policies, and some US cities have already taken the initial step. That said, there is still a long way to go.
We are optimistic about the future, but it appears full-scale decriminalization is at least a few years away.
Where Are Magic Mushrooms Legal or Decriminalized?
Some countries have already moved to either legalize or decriminalize magic mushrooms and their active ingredients.
Countries like Canada have even legalized their use for medical applications, such as in palliative care and existential anxiety.
In Canada, physicians can use the psychedelic drug to help develop therapies for future use.
You are only allowed to use psilocybin if you have a mental or terminal illness or suffer from depression or anxiety.
You can find various online vendors in Canada that exist in a legal grey area.
Psilocybin is legal in Amsterdam, specifically — but remains illegal throughout the rest of the country.
In 2008, magic mushrooms were banned in the Netherlands and replaced by truffles, which have the same main component, psilocybin.
Truffles are available in stores called smart shops in Amsterdam.
Portugal was one of the first countries in the world to decriminalize all drugs — including psilocybin mushrooms.
This change was imposed back in 2000 as an attempt to curb the rising drug problems the country was facing. Leaders hired a panel of addiction experts who recommended eliminating criminal charges for drug possession and redirecting the money towards treatment programs and subsidies to provide jobs to people during recovery.
As a result, Portugal has seen a substantial drop in drug addiction, HIV infection, and unemployment. The per capita social cost of drug misuse has even been reduced by more than 20% since the change.
All drugs are decriminalized for personal use, including psychedelic mushrooms.
Growing psilocybin mushrooms for personal use is also legal — but only for personal use.
Mass production, distribution, and possession of psilocybin, or any illegal substance, constitutes a serious crime and could land you 20 years or more in prison.