Legal status of psilocybin mushrooms
The legal status of psilocybin mushrooms varies world-wide. Psilocybin and psilocin are listed as Schedule I drugs under the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Schedule I drugs are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse or drugs that have no recognized medical uses. However, psilocybin mushrooms have had numerous medicinal  and religious uses in dozens of cultures throughout history and have a drastically lower potential for abuse than other Schedule I drugs.
Psilocybin mushrooms are not regulated by UN treaties. From a letter, dated 13 September 2001, from Herbert Schaepe, Secretary of the UN International Narcotics Control Board, to the Dutch Ministry of Health:
As you are aware, mushrooms containing the above substances are collected and used for their hallucinogenic effects. As a matter of international law, no plants (natural material) containing psilocine and psilocybin are at present controlled under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. Consequently, preparations made of these plants are not under international control and, therefore, not subject of the articles of the 1971 Convention [emphasis added]. Criminal cases are decided with reference to domestic law, which may otherwise provide for controls over mushrooms containing psilocine and psilocybin. As the Board can only speak as to the contours of the international drug conventions, I am unable to provide an opinion on the litigation in question.
Many countries, however, have some level of regulation or prohibition of psilocybin mushrooms (for example, the US Psychotropic Substances Act, the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, and the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act). The prohibition of psilocybin mushrooms has come under criticism[by whom?] because mushrooms are considered soft drugs with a low potential for abuse.
In many national, state, and provincial drug laws, there is a great deal of ambiguity about the legal status of psilocybin mushrooms, as well as a strong element of selective enforcement in some places. The legal status of Psilocybe spores is even more ambiguous, as the spores contain neither psilocybin nor psilocin, and hence are not illegal to sell or possess in many jurisdictions, though many jurisdictions will prosecute under broader laws prohibiting items that are used in drug manufacture. A few jurisdictions (such as the US states of Georgia and Idaho) have specifically prohibited the sale and possession of psilocybin mushroom spores. Cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms is considered drug manufacture in most jurisdictions and is often severely penalized, though some countries and one US state have ruled that growing psilocybin mushrooms does not qualify as "manufacturing" a controlled substance.
List by country
|Australia||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Although native, the cultivation, manufacture, possession, use and supply of psilocybin is illegal throughout Australia.|
|Brazil||Legal||Legal||Legal||Legal||Only psilocybin is listed illegal, but not the fungal species themselves. The Federal Constitution says that an act must be previously stated as illegal by a law. So, psilocybian mushrooms cannot be considered illegal themselves. There are also no legal jurisprudences available on the topic.|
|British Virgin Islands||Legal||Illegal||Illegal||Legal||Here is where the mushrooms grow naturally, it is legal to possess and consume psilocybin mushrooms; however, their sale is illegal.|
|Bulgaria||Legal||Legal||Legal||Legal||In Bulgaria, Psilocybin in its pure form is illegal, however, possession and consumption of hallucinogenic mushrooms is legal.|
|Belgium||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||In Belgium, cultivation of mushrooms has been prohibited since the enactment of the Criminal Law of 24 February 1921. Possession and sale of mushrooms have been prohibited since the Royal Decree of 22 January 1998.|
|Canada||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal (Grow kits and spores legal)||Mushroom spore kits and grow kits are legal and are sold openly in stores or on the internet as the spores and kits themselves are legal. Psilocybin and psilocin are illegal to possess, obtain or produce without a prescription or license as they are schedule III under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act|
|Czech Republic||Legal||Illegal (Decriminalized)||Illegal (Decriminalized)||Legal||In the Czech Republic, possession and consumption of psilocybin mushrooms is legal but it is illegal to sell them.|
|Cyprus||Illegal (Decriminalized)||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Although magic mushrooms are very rare In Cyprus possession and consumption is illegal. An individual who was found to have ordered psilocybin mushrooms from the internet was fined 1500 Euros, but was not given time in prison.|
|Denmark||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||The sale and possession of psilocybin have long been illegal; however the growing/collecting, processing, sale, and possession of psilocybin mushrooms was legal until 1 July 2001, when the Danish Ministry of Health prohibited them.|
|Finland||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||As of 1 September 2008, the new 1st section of the 50th chapter of the penal code specially prohibits (attempt of) growing Psilocybe mushrooms.|
|France||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||In France, psilocybin mushrooms have been listed as a narcotic since 1 June 1966; thus, possession, use, transportation and collection are subject to criminal sanctions.|
|Germany||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||The sale, possession, and cultivation of psilocybin have been illegal since Executive Order 698 of 1993
The following amendment was added in 2001: "Plants, Parts of plants as well as animals and parts of animals that contain psilocin or psilocibin in processed or unprocessed state as well as fruits, mycelia, seeds, spores and cell cultures that can be used to grow psilocin or psilocibin producing organisms are illegal if a use as drug is intended."
|Greece||Illegal unless treated as psylocin||Illegal unless treated as psylocin||Illegal||Illegal||Cultivation is prohibited. For sale and possession, hallucinogenic mushrooms may be treated as psylocin.|
|Ireland||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Until 31 January 2006, unprepared psilocybin mushrooms were legal in Republic of Ireland. On that date they were made illegal by a ministerial order. This decision was partly based on the death of Dubliner Colm Hodkinson, age 33, who fell to his death on 30 October 2005, after suffering a psychotic reaction some 15 minutes after consuming 3 legally purchased psilocybin mushrooms|
|Italy||Illegal (Decriminalized)||Illegal (Decriminalized)||Illegal (Decriminalized)||Illegal (Decriminalized)||Grow kits and spores are legal to buy, sell and possess|
|Japan||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Prior to 2002, psilocybin mushrooms were widely available in Japan and were often sold in mail-order shops, online vendors and in head shops throughout Japan; according to Hideo Eno of Japan's Health Ministry narcotics division, prior to 2002, "You can find them [psilocybin mushrooms] anywhere." In June 2002, Japan Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry added psilocybin mushrooms to Schedule Narcotics of Narcotic and Psychotropic Drug Control Law, possibly in preparation for the World Cup, and in response to a widely reported case of mushroom poisoning. Use, production, trafficking, growing or possession of psilocybin mushrooms is now illegal in Japan.|
|Mexico||Illegal(Unenforced if in native culture)||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal(Legal if grew in wild.)||Psilocin and psilocybin are prohibited under the Ley General de Salud of 1984, which also specifically mentions psilocybin-containing fungi as being covered by the law, and mentions Psilocybe mexicana and Psilocybe cubensis in particular. However, these laws are rarely, if ever, enforced against indigenous users of psychoactive fungi. The Mexican government has also specifically taken the position that wild occurrence of Psilocybe does not constitute drug production.|
|Netherlands||Illegal||Legal as truffle||Legal as truffle||Illegal (Active cultures of mycellium and spores legal)||Since December 2008 possession of both dry and fresh psychoactive mushrooms has been forbidden by law. The Openbaar Ministerie – the Dutch prosecutor’s office – stated that prosecution shall be started on possession of 0.5g dried or 5g fresh psychoactive mushrooms. Possession of these minor amounts is allowed and won’t lead to a criminal charge. Before December 2008, unprocessed psychoactive mushrooms were legal to possess, they were not covered under the opium law, therefore making them legal to possess, consume and sell, and could be obtained in "smart shops" which specialize in ethnobotanicals. Although a legal loophole not outlawing psychoactive mushroom species as truffles has led to the widespread sale of these "Magic Truffles" in smart shops across the nation.|
|New Zealand||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||In New Zealand, psilocybin mushrooms are class A drugs, putting them in the highest class of illicit compounds along with heroin and LSD. They do not have to be prepared in any way for possession to be illegal.
|Sweden||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||* Sveriges riksdag added Psilocybe semilanceata (wild growing in Sweden) to schedule I ("substances, plant materials and fungi which normally do not have medical use") as narcotics in Sweden as of Nov 1, 1997, published by Medical Products Agency in their regulation LVFS 1997:15 listed as Psilocybe semilanceata (toppslätskivling).
|Turkey||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||In Turkey magic mushrooms are treated as psilocybin which is illegal. The sale, growth and possession can lead to prosecution.|
|United Kingdom||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||As of 18 July 2005, both fresh and "prepared" (that is, dried, cooked or made into a tea) psilocybin mushrooms were made illegal in the United Kingdom. Prior to this date, fresh mushrooms were widely available (even in city centre shops), but section 21 of the Drugs Act 2005 made fresh psychedelic mushrooms ("fungi containing psilocybin"), a Class A drug. Prior to these laws being passed, possession and use of psilocybin and psilocin is prohibited.|
|United States||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal (Grow kits and spores legal in most states)||In the United States, possession of psilocybin-containing mushrooms is illegal because they contain the Schedule I drugs psilocin and psilocybin. Spores, however, which do not contain psychoactive chemicals, are only explicitly illegal in Georgia, Idaho, and California. In the rest of the country, it is not illegal to just sell the spores, but selling them with the purpose of producing hallucinogenic mushrooms is illegal.|
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Magic Truffles Shop magic-truffles-shop.com
- International Legal Status of Psilocybin Mushrooms Ananda Schouten, Erowid, 2
- UN's INCB Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Herbert Schaepe, 2001