The short answer is no, for the millions of Americans who are asking the question, “Is psilocybin legal in the United States?” Psilocybin is still a Schedule I illegal drug under the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) Controlled Substances Act, which bans it across the country.
However, the recent decriminalization of small amounts of narcotics (including magic mushrooms, heroin, LSD, and methamphetamine) and psilocybin‘s legality for medical use in Oregon has more and more people wondering about the state-by-state legality of psilocybin and other drugs.
Continue reading below for a more in-depth response to the question “Is psilocybin illegal?”
Psilocybin Legal States
The short answer is no. The usage, possession, and acquisition of psilocybin are not allowed in the United States. There are no areas in the United States where psilocybin may be bought and used recreationally. Although the DEA authorizes certain permits for research and use of psilocybin, they are uncommon and regulated at the federal level very carefully.
However, the enforcement of psilocybin as a Schedule I drug has historically been difficult. This is due to the fact that the DEA does not maintain an up-to-date list of psilocybin-containing mushroom species. Mushroom use is also less widespread throughout the United States than other substances (for example, cannabis). For these two reasons, it is unusual for people to be charged with unlawful possession of psilocybin.
However, in Oregon and other cities throughout California and Colorado, the possession of small amounts of psilocybin and other drugs has been decriminalized. Measure 109 in Oregon has also legalized the medicinal/therapeutic use of psilocybin for mental health issues such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Here’s a quick rundown of current psilocybin decriminalization in various regions of the United States.
Is psilocybin legal in California?
The California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative is a continuation of the grassroots organization Decriminalize California’s efforts to legalize psilocybin (the psychedelic ingredient) for “medical, therapeutic, religious, spiritual, and personal purposes.” The initiative’s aim is to get it on the California ballot in November 2022.
On the state level, however, psychedelic psilocybin legislation has already begun in California on a lesser scale.
However, psilocybin has already begun to be legalized on a lesser scale in California, with Oakland and Santa Cruz city councils passing measures that have effectively decriminalized the use and possession of small amounts of psilocybin mushrooms.
Is psilocybin legal in Colorado?
In Colorado, psilocybin has been decriminalized in the same manner as in California. While complete state-wide legalization has not yet taken place, the city of Denver announced in May 2019 (via City Ordinance 301) that “the adult possession and use of psilocybin mushrooms” had been de-criminalized. This implies that possessing psilocybin in the city is no longer a punishable crime.
Is psilocybin legal in Oregon?
In the United States, psilocybin legality in Oregon is getting most of the attention. In November 2020, Oregon voters approved Measure 110, which legalizes the use and possession of small amounts of drugs, including magic mushrooms/psilocybin. Oregonians also approved Proposition 109, which allows the Oregon Health Authority to create a state-run program that would legalize and regulate psilocybin for certain mental health issues under Measure 109.
However, neither of these regulations guarantee that individuals (both in-state and out-of-state) can purchase psilocybin mushrooms for recreational use in Oregon. Psilocybin is decriminalized under Measure 110 while a legal framework for the therapeutic usage of psilocybin is established by Measure 109.
Additional Info on Legal Psilocybin States
It’s clear that psilocybin legality in the United States is changing. While there is still a long way to go to reach full nationwide decriminalization, interest in the psychedelic compound (for both recreational and therapeutic purposes) is increasing tremendously. For example, the District of Columbia has also recently passed decriminalization measures similar to those that are in place in Oregon, California, and Colorado.
Of course, much more research needs to be conducted on psilocybin and its derivatives before the consideration of broader-scale legalization.
The Future of Psilocybin Legalization
Those interested in ongoing efforts to legalize psilocybin are urged to visit educational resources such as Decriminalize California (DECRIMCA) and Multidisciplinary Resources for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). These outlets provide a wealth of information relating to psilocybin use, legalization, and contemporary medicinal research. Likewise, the Psychedelic Medicine Association is also an excellent resource for reliable, accurate information on psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs.
Where is psilocybin legal globally?
Globally, there are a few countries where psilocybin is legal. However, in many cases, the laws are almost as complex as America’s. Here are a few examples:
- Bahamas: Magic mushrooms are not banned. However, according to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, psilocybin and psilocin are controlled substances.
- Brazil: While psilocin and psilocybin are illegal, various fungal species that contain them are not.
- Czech Republic: Cultivating small amounts of psilocybin-containing mushrooms has been decriminalized.
- Jamaica: There are currently no laws regulating the sale and possession of psilocybin. Magic mushrooms are sold openly in Jamaica.
- Nepal: There are currently no laws against psilocybin mushrooms.
- Netherlands:Mushrooms are banned, but magic truffles may deliver psilocybin.
- Portugal: The drug is decriminalized in Portugal.
We advise you to look into your nation’s laws in further depth before considering the use of psilocybin in any form.
Psilocybin Legality: A Summary
As you can see, psilocybin legality in the USA is still extremely limited. While use and possession of the compound has been decriminalized across Oregon and parts of Colorado, California, and the District of Columbia – psilocybin is still illegal federally under the DEA’s List of Controlled Substances.
Psilocybin is still illegal federally under the DEA’s List of Controlled Substances.
However, this may be changing in years to come as research advances, and we learn more about the full use and potential of psilocybin and other similar psychedelic substances.