Legally, psilocybin mushrooms are considered to be controlled substances due to their content of psilocybin, the compound with hallucinogenic effects. However, the legal status of magic mushrooms is a bit more complex than that and it is also a status that is in constant change not only in the US, but all over the world – here are some more things to know about the topic.
The Legal Status of Magic Mushrooms in the World
Magic mushrooms are generally included into the lists of controlled substance in most parts of the world. In the US, the process of criminalization started in the 1970’s – since then, psilocybin has been considered illegal and the law has banned the usage, the consumption, the selling as well as the consumption of the mushrooms containing the compound.
What makes the actual legislation interesting is the fact that the ban is linked to the presence of the psilocybin compound. Magic mushrooms contain the substance only in mushroom form, which means that the compound is not found in the spores – the tiny particles responsible for the proliferation of the fungi. Consequently, there is no legal ban on magic mushroom spores, which means that the spores can be freely handled as long as they are not turned into actual mushrooms.
Decriminalization – a Process that Has Slowly Taken Off
Recent decades have seen growing scientific interest towards magic mushrooms, with research projects conducted into the expectations related to the effects of psilocybin as well as into the actual mental, emotional and physiological effects of exposure to the substance and the potential medicinal uses of the compound. A business that offers psilocybe cubensis spores to researchers affirms that the scientific findings of these results have shown that psilocybin is not an addictive substance, what’s more, when administered in small doses, it has beneficial effects on people suffering from severe depression, anxiety, with many participants in the studies and research programs reporting instant positive effects, such as a relaxed state of mind, improve sleep and focus. The promising results have contributed to changes in terms of the attitude towards magic mushrooms, with many US municipalities and areas already showing a more relaxed approach towards the possession of magic mushrooms for personal consumption. Decriminalization in the field means that magic mushrooms are still illegal, but it is unlikely that law enforcement units would engage in any action if the quantity possessed is very small and not accompanied with any behavior that requires action from the law enforcement unit.
The process of decriminalization and legalization has started in many other countries as well. In most countries, the possession of spores in quantities suitable for personal consumption and not more is usually unregulated. The possession of the mushrooms in small quantities is tolerated and decriminalized in many European countries as well as in South America. Some countries at the two extremes are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Hong Kong and New Zealand, where possession, sale, transportation and cultivation are all illegal and Bahamas, India, Nepal, Brazil, Jamaica or the Netherlands, where all these activities are considered to be completely legal.