Legal status of psilocybin mushrooms

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The legal status of unauthorised actions with psilocybin mushrooms varies worldwide. 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 unauthorised actions with psilocybin mushrooms by country
  Legal
  Ambiguous/Partially legal/Decriminalized
  Illegal
  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, anxiety and depression.[7][8] Among regulated drugs, psilocybin mushrooms also have relatively few medical risks.[9]

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, since psilocybin and psilocin are deemed illegal to possess without license as substances, but mushrooms themselves are not mentioned in these laws. 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.[10]

List by country[edit]

Country Possession Sale Transport Cultivation Notes

 Australia[edit]

Illegal illegal Illegal Illegal Although native, the cultivation, manufacture, possession, use and supply of psilocybin is illegal throughout Australia.[11]

 Austria[edit]

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 or in shops in Vienna.[12][13] Sale and Transport are still illegal.[14]

 Bahamas[edit]

Legal Legal Legal Legal

 Belgium[edit]

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.

 Belize[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal In Belize, psilocin is listed in the Misuse of Drugs Act and penalty of "5 years, $100,000, or both."[15]

 Bolivia[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal In Bolivia, psilocybin and psilocin are banned substances.[15]

 Brazil[edit]

Legal Legal Legal Legal Only psilocybin and psilocin are listed illegal, but not the fungal species themselves. The Federal Constitution states that an act must be previously stated as illegal by a law. Therefore, psilocybin mushrooms cannot be considered illegal themselves. There are also no legal jurisprudences available on the topic, neither records of people being arrested specifically for using, growing or possessing psilocybin mushrooms in the country. They are sold mainly over the internet on specialized websites, without facing persecution from Brazilian police.[16]

 British Virgin Islands[edit]

Legal Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) 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.[17]

 Cambodia[edit]

Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) In Cambodia, psilocybin mushrooms are prohibited, but in many parts of the country, especially touristic ones, they are mostly ignored by legal authorities, as it happens with other illegal drugs.[18]

 Canada[edit]

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.[19]

 Chile[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal (Grow kits, spores, and mycelium legal) Psilocybin and psilocin are listed as narcotic drugs on Ley Nº 20.000.[20] There have been some recent reports of imprisonment for sale and possession of magic mushrooms in Chile,[21][22][23] as well as indications that their usage is getting more popular in the country.[24] However, Psilocybe spores and kits are completely legal and openly sold on specialized Chilean websites.[25][26]

 Croatia[edit]

Illegal (Decriminalized) Illegal Illegal Illegal From 2013, the possession of small amount of light drugs is a misdemeanor which leads to a fine of 5000–20000kn ($800–3500) depending on the case in question.

 Cyprus[edit]

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.

 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).[27]

 Denmark[edit]

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.

 Estonia[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Both psilocybin and mushrooms are explicitly banned in Estonia according to Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.[28]

 Finland[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal if for the purpose of intoxication.[28]

 Greece[edit]

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

 Hungary[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal In Hungary, mushrooms are specifically illegal under Art. 282 of the Penal Code, as they are treated as psilocin.[28]

 Iceland[edit]

Illegal (in dried form) Illegal (in dried form) Illegal (in dried form) Illegal (in dried form) According to a police statement, growing or picking mushrooms in fresh form is not exactly illegal, but making them into dried form is, since psilocybin is categorized as an illegal substance in Iceland.[29]

 India[edit]

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[30]

 Indonesia[edit]

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[31] But currently law enforcements have been done more frequently[32]

 Ireland[edit]

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

 Israel[edit]

Illegal (Illegal for personal consumption) Illegal (Illegal for personal consumption) Illegal (Illegal for personal consumption) Illegal (Illegal for personal consumption) According to Israeli drug laws, psilocybin and psilocin are illegal, but psilocybin-containing mushrooms are legal for possession, cultivation and sale as long as they are not used for the purpose of personal use.[33] There have been records of people being arrested for growing and selling large quantities of magic mushrooms for recreational purposes in the country.[34]

 Italy[edit]

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

 Jamaica[edit]

Legal Legal Legal Legal Psilocybin mushrooms have never been made illegal and are openly sold.[35]

 Japan[edit]

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."[36] 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.[37]

 Laos[edit]

Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Psilocybin mushrooms are illegal but openly sold in businesses, specifically in Vang Vieng.[38]

 Latvia[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Growing Psilocybin mushrooms is illegal in Latvia under S. 256 of the Penal Code, in case of a repeated offence. Both possession and sale of them are considered as a narcotic substance.[28]

 Lithuania[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal In Lithuania, growing is prohibited under Art. 265 of the Penal Code, possession and sale illegal under Administrative and Penal codes.[28]

 Luxembourg[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal In Luxembourg, mushrooms are considered sources of psilocybin and psilocin and hence subject to legal persecution.[28]

 Mexico[edit]

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.[39] 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.[40]

   Nepal[edit]

legal legal legal legal [41]

 Netherlands[edit]

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.[42] 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 and psilocine are class A drugs, putting them in the highest class of illicit compounds along with heroin and LSD. The 'Misuse of drugs act 1975' lists 'Conocybe, Panaeolus, or Psilocybe' species specifically.[43]

 Norway[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal In Norway, magic mushrooms are specifically outlawed according to explicit regulation regarding narcotics.[28]

 Poland[edit]

Illegal (When containing psilocybin/psilocin) Illegal (When containing psilocybin/psilocin) Illegal (When containing psilocybin/psilocin) Illegal (Grow kits, spores, and mycelium legal) Psilocybin and psilocin are listed illegal, but not the fungal species themselves. 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. [44]

 Portugal[edit]

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

 Russia[edit]

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

 Samoa[edit]

Legal Legal Legal Legal In Samoa, psilocybin mushrooms are widely found in nature, called popularly "Pulouaitu" and they are not mentioned on national drug laws. Nevertheless, there are government plans to prohibit them in the near future, as they are being increasingly used by local youths.[45]

 Slovakia[edit]

Illegal (ambiguous) Illegal (ambiguous) Illegal (ambiguous) Illegal (ambiguous) There is little legal experience in Slovakia on the legal evaluation of magic mushrooms, making their legality somewhat ambiguous. Low quantities could possibly be treated as psilocin in the country, but large quantities may be considered as a “preparation” of a drug trafficking offence, which has the same sentence as an offence actually committed.[28]

 Slovenia[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal In Slovenia, mushrooms are illegal, since they are considered as psilocin.[28]

 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.[46] Spores - which do not contain Psilocin or Psilocybin - may be legal to purchase, own or sell.

 Spain[edit]

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.[47] Possession, production and distribution of psilocybin is illegal, but its consumption in private places is decriminalized.[48][49] 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.[50]

 Sri Lanka[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Although their presence and usage are extremely rare in the country, psilocybin mushrooms are also banned in Sri Lanka. In 2016, a local woman was arrested and became famous for illegally importing magic mushrooms from the United States, worth about Rs 250,000, and trafficking them for a select group of people.[51]

 Sweden[edit]

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).[52]
  • 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.[52]

  Switzerland[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal

Although psilocybin and psilocin have long been listed as controlled substances in Switzerland, mushrooms themselves were only specifically banned in 2002, initially by the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products and later, by a revision of the Swiss Narcotics Act in 2008. Until 2002, magic mushrooms were readily available in Switzerland and, according to a Swiss medical agency, their ban was an attempt to prevent their increasing popularity in the country. However, some local health and legal authorities have criticized magic mushroom's prohibition, since surveys have showed that it had little impact on decreasing their consumption in the country.[53][54]

 Taiwan[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal In Taiwan, psilocybin mushrooms are illegal. They are considered a Category 2 drug, alongside marijuana and amphetamine.[55]

 Thailand[edit]

Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Illegal (unenforced) Psilocybin mushrooms are illegal but are commonly sold openly in businesses.[56]

 Turkey[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal In Turkey magic mushrooms are treated as psilocybin which is illegal. The sale, growth and possession can lead to prosecution.

 Ukraine[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal (Spores are legal) Psilocybin in any form is illegal. According to the Ukrainian Criminal Code, fetal bodies of fungi containing psilocybin are considered a psychotropic substance, and the dose, which entails criminal liability, is 0.01 g of psilocybin, is about 30-40 g of fresh mushrooms. However, the legislation does not prohibit the sale of mushroom spores for cultivation for the purpose of collecting.[57]

 United Kingdom[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal As of 18 July 2005,[58] 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.[59] Subsequent to these laws being passed, possession and use of psilocybin and psilocin has been prohibited.

 United States[edit]

Illegal (decriminalized in Denver, Colorado, Oakland, California, and Chicago, IL) Illegal Illegal (decriminalized in Denver, Colorado, Oakland, California, and Chicago, IL) Illegal (Grow kits and spores legal in most states, full cultivation decriminalized in Denver, Colorado and Chicago, IL) In the United States, possession of psilocybin-containing mushrooms is illegal because they contain the Schedule I drugs psilocin and psilocybin. Spores, which do not contain psychoactive chemicals, are explicitly illegal in Georgia, Idaho, and California (unlisted states unverified).[60][61][62] 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.[63][64] Except for ornamental purposes, growing, selling or possessing Psilocybe spp. and Conocybe spp. is prohibited by Louisiana State Act 159. The cities of Denver, Colorado,[65] Oakland, California,[66] and Chicago, Illinois have decriminalized the drug.[67]

 Uruguay[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal In Uruguay, psilocybin and psilocin are mentioned in the federal list of controlled substances.[68] According to Decreto N° 403/016, all fungal species of the Psilocybe sp. genus are illegal to sell as a medicinal compound, and other psilocybin-containing fungi genera, such as Copelandia, Pluteus and Conocybe are also mentioned in the document.[69]

 Vietnam[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal In Vietnam, psilocybin and psilocin were added to the list of banned substances in 2018 through Decree 73. [70]

 Serbia[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Psilocybin in any form is illegal.
Country Possession Sale Transport Cultivation Notes

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Further reading[edit]