Legal status of psilocybin mushrooms

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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.[1] 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 [2][3][4] and religious uses in dozens of cultures throughout history and have a significantly lower potential for abuse than other Schedule I drugs.[5]

Legality of psilocybin mushrooms by country
  Ambiguous/Partially legal/Decriminalized
  No information

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:[6]

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, from the general public and from researchers who see therapeutic potential with regard to drug addictions and other mental instabilities, such as PTSD. Among regulated drugs, psilocybin mushrooms have relatively few medical risks.[7]

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 has ruled that growing psilocybin mushrooms does not qualify as "manufacturing" a controlled substance.[8]

List by country[edit]

Country Possession Sale Transport Cultivation Notes


Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Although native, the cultivation, manufacture, possession, use and supply of psilocybin is illegal throughout Australia.[9]


No restrictions on fresh mushrooms. Dried mushrooms are decriminalized for personal consumption. Illegal Illegal Legal: No restriction for cultivation as long as the mushrooms are not intended to be used as drugs. The possession of psilocybin mushrooms was decriminalized in a reform as of January 2016 in Austria. Offenders will have to undergo a free therapy instead of a trial. Cultivation is technically legal as long as the mushrooms are not harvested. Growkits can legally be bought over the internet. Sale and Transport are still illegal.[10]


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, psilocybin mushrooms cannot be considered illegal themselves. There are also no legal jurisprudences available on the topic. They are sold mainly over the internet on specialized websites.

 British Virgin Islands[edit]

Legal Poorly enforced Poorly enforced Legal Where mushrooms grow naturally, it is legal to possess and consume psilocybin mushrooms; however, their sale is illegal. Despite this, many businesses openly sell them.[11]


legal legal legal legal In Bulgaria, Psilocybin in its pure form is legal, possession and consumption of hallucinogenic mushrooms is legal.


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.


Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal (Grow kits. spores and mycelium 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[edit]

Illegal (Decriminalized) Illegal Illegal Illegal (Decriminalized) Possession of drugs for personal use and cultivation of plants and mushrooms containing a narcotic or psychotropic substance “in a small quantity” are excluded from criminal prosecution. These violations of law are punished by administrative law as a misdemeanour (Act No. 200/1990 Coll., Act of Violations). [12]


Illegal (Decriminalized) Illegal Illegal Illegal Magic mushrooms are very rare in Cyprus. Although possession and consumption are both illegal, an individual who was found to have ordered psilocybin mushrooms over the internet was fined 1500 Euros and was not given time in prison.


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.


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.


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.


Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal The sale, possession, and cultivation of psilocybin have been illegal since Executive Order 698 of 1993[13]

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."


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.

 Hong Kong[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Cultivation is prohibited, sale and possession illegal


Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Psilocybin mushrooms are officially illegal but the police is largely unaware of their prohibition and are poorly enforced in India[14]


Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Psilocybin mushrooms are illegal, classified as illegal drug type 1 with capital punishment. It is secretly sold in Bali under the name Good Snack[15] But currently law enforcements have been done more frequently[16]


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


Illegal (Decriminalized) Illegal (Decriminalized) Illegal (Decriminalized) Illegal (Decriminalized) Grow kits and spores are legal to buy, sell and possess


Legal Legal Legal Legal Psilocybin mushrooms have never been made illegal and are openly sold.[17]


Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal (Spores are legal) 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."[18] 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. Metropolitan Police Officer says that spores are legal where it does not contain psilocybin. [19]


Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Psilocybin mushrooms are illegal but openly sold in businesses, specifically in Vang Vieng.[20]


Illegal (Unenforced if in native culture) Illegal Illegal Illegal (Legal if grown 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.[21] 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.[22]


Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal The drug laws in Nepal misspell psilocybin as "Cilocybin". [1]


Legal as Truffle Legal as truffle Legal as truffle Legal as Truffles (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.[23] 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[edit]

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.[24]


Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal (When containing psilocybin) Only psilocybin (but not psilocin) is listed illegal, but not the fungal species themselves.[25]


Illegal (Decriminalized) Illegal (Decriminalized) Illegal (Decriminalized) Illegal (Decriminalized) The Drug policy of Portugal has decriminalized possession of all drugs.


Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal (Spores are legal) Psilocybin in any form is illegal.


Illegal (Decriminalized for personal use in a private place) Illegal Illegal Illegal (Decriminalized for personal use in a private place) Psilocybin mushrooms are noted to be illegal to sell, and its possession and cultivation legal when treated as mushrooms.[26] Possession, production and distribution of psilocybin is illegal, but its consumption in private places is decriminalized.[27][28] This makes the legality of psilocybin mushrooms, grow kits and spores ambiguous and usually it is based on the intent of use and the judge's interpretation of the law.[29]

 South Africa[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal (Grow kits and spores may be legal) Psilocin (4-hydroxydimethyltryptamine) and Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) are listed as Undesirable Dependence-Producing Substances.[30] Spores - which do not contain Psilocin or Psilocybin - may be legal to purchase, own or sell.


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).[31]
  • Sveriges riksdag added psilocybin mushrooms to schedule I ("substances, plant materials and fungi which normally do not have medical use") as narcotics in Sweden as of Aug 1, 1999, published by Medical Products Agency in their regulation LVFS 1999:6 listed as Svampar som innehåller ämnena psilocybin eller psilocin, om svamparna är framodlade eller om de har torkats eller på annat sätt beretts.[32]


Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal In Taiwan, psilocybin mushrooms are illegal. They are considered a Category 2 drug, alongside marijuana and amphetamine .[33]


Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Psilocybin mushrooms are illegal but are commonly sold openly in businesses.[34]


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[edit]

illegal illegal illegal illegal As of 18 July 2005,[35] 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.[36] Subsequent to these laws being passed, possession and use of psilocybin and psilocin has been prohibited.

 United States[edit]

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 explicitly illegal in Georgia, Idaho, and California (unlisted states unverified)[37][38][39]. 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.[40][41] Except for ornamental purposes, growing, selling or possessing Psilocybe spp. and Conocybe spp. is prohibited by Louisiana State Act 159.
Country Possession Sale Transport Cultivation Notes


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Further reading[edit]