Psilocybin is the psychedelic substance that makes magic mushrooms famous and also desirable to some individuals. An estimated 180 mushroom species contain the compound, or psilocin, its derivative. Magic mushrooms have a long history of usage in religious and spiritual rituals.
The fungi are also among the most popular and regularly used psychedelics in Europe, North America, and South America. However, magic mushrooms are legal in relatively few locations.
The landscape is changing, primarily due to evidence of psilocybin mushrooms helping with certain medical issues.
A review of studies published in The Mental Health Clinician in 2017 looked at the clinical potential of psilocybin as a means of helping with mental health issues. The researchers looked at the use of the drug on depressed mood, suicidality, and anxiety disorders.
The researchers concluded that psilocybin could have some efficacy as an alternative means of managing mental health conditions.
This research, in part, could help open the doors to further psilocybin legality. In this article, we look at the places where one can legally take magic mushrooms today. For easier navigation, we have divided the guide into regions.
Please note that ‘decriminalized’ doesn’t equate to full legality. Instead, it means that the offense doesn’t go on a criminal record. Perpetrators may receive a fine for what is termed a ‘civil infraction’ instead.
North America (Including the Caribbean)
Before we begin, it is important to note that psilocybin and psilocin prohibition is primarily based on the United Nations Convention of Psychotropic Substances in 1971. Nations in attendance agreed to prohibit psychedelics such as LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin by signing a treaty. At that time, there was grave concern over the rising usage of such drugs.
At the convention, psilocybin became a Schedule I substance. This classification suggested that the drug was a risk to public health with no therapeutic value. However, the convention failed to define the legality of Psilocybe mycelium or the spores of magic mushrooms. The spores contain relatively low levels of the drug.
This was almost certainly an oversight. It resulted in countries exploiting the loophole. Also, Article 32 of the treaty permits the legal usage of specific plants for traditional indigenous uses.
The United States of America
On a federal level, psilocybin remains a Schedule I substance. According to the federal government, this means it has no therapeutic value and a high risk of addiction. However, a handful of cities and towns have bucked the trend.
Major cities such as Denver, Santa Cruz, Chicago, and Oakland decriminalized the use of psilocybin in recent years. In New Mexico, purchasing Psilocybe spores and growing the mushrooms is technically allowed. Several religious groups are permitted to use psilocybin in religious ceremonies.
November 2020 saw a huge breakthrough. Oregon became the first American state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms. According to Measure 109, Oregon residents can legally use magic mushrooms in a therapeutic setting. However, it will take two years for the state to work out regulatory details.
Oregon has also decriminalized the usage and personal possession of all drugs.
The spores of magic mushrooms are only explicitly illegal in California, Idaho, and Georgia.
America’s northern neighbor became the second country in the world to legalize cannabis. However, Canada has not yet done the same for magic mushrooms. At present, it is legal to purchase spores, and pre-inoculated grow kits. Picking mushrooms in nature is also permitted.
Laws surrounding the use of magic mushrooms in Canada are loosely enforced. Indeed, various companies sell them online in different forms. According to the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, enforcing these laws is a low priority.
At the time of writing, there is an ongoing appeal to Health Canada to legalize psilocybin.
The possession and use of magic mushrooms remain illegal in Mexico as part of the Ley General de Salud of 1984. However, indigenous tribes can use drugs like magic mushrooms and peyote in religious ceremonies. It isn’t legal for them to do so, but the police hardly ever enforce the law against such tribes.
The result is a flourishing psychedelic tourism trade. People travel from all around the world to experience one of these ceremonies.
Geographically, the islands of the Caribbean are considered part of North America. The Bahamas is a signatory to the 1971 UN Convention. However, the sale, possession, and use of magic mushrooms are legal in the Bahamas.
The British Virgin Islands
The Virgin Islands are located in the Caribbean but remain part of the United Kingdom. It is legal to consume and possess magic mushrooms there. However, the sale of the shrooms remains illegal. Despite this obstacle, many stores in the Virgin Islands openly sell magic mushrooms.
There is no specific law that makes psychedelic drugs illegal in Jamaica. As a result, the nation plays host to a huge number of psychedelic retreats. Also, magic mushrooms are openly sold in Jamaica with no legal threat.
South America & Central America
Psilocin and psilocybin are illegal, but the fungal species are not. According to the Brazilian Constitution, an act must be previously stated as illegal by a law. As a consequence, psilocybin mushrooms themselves are not considered illegal.
There are no records of people being arrested or otherwise placed in legal jeopardy for growing, buying, or selling magic mushrooms. There are even special websites dedicated to the sale of shrooms.
The possession of magic mushrooms is decriminalized in Austria. Technically, residents can legally grow the shrooms as long as they don’t harvest them! It is also possible to purchase grow kits online or in Austrian stores. Also, there are no restrictions on the possession of fresh mushrooms. These are shrooms you find in nature.
The legal status of magic mushrooms in Greece is a little convoluted. In general, psilocybin is illegal. However, the sale, consumption, and cultivation of shrooms aren’t strictly illegal if treated as psilocin. The transport of magic mushrooms, however, is prohibited by law.
Magic mushrooms are illegal in Iceland in dried form. However, there is no direct law forbidding the cultivation or picking of fresh mushrooms. It is important to note that psilocybin itself is an outlawed substance in Iceland.
Psilocybin and psilocin are illegal substances in Israel. However, the sale, cultivation, and possession of magic mushrooms are permitted as long as it isn’t for personal use.
While psilocybin remains an illegal substance, it is also a decriminalized one. It is legal to purchase, sell, and possess grow kits and spores in Italy.
The possession of dry and fresh magic mushrooms is illegal in the Netherlands and has been since December 2008. This likely comes as a surprise to tourists, given the country’s reputation. However, it remains legal to purchase and use psilocybin in truffles. These so-called magic truffles are now fully legal and taxed.
Psilocin and psilocybin are illegal substances. However, Polish law doesn’t outlaw the magic mushroom fungal species. It is possible to find grow kits and spore kits in Poland.
Magic mushrooms are illegal in Portugal. However, the European nation decriminalized the possession of small amounts of all drugs in 2001.
The sale of psilocybin is illegal, but cultivation and possession are legal when treated as mushrooms. The production, distribution, and possession of psilocybin is illegal. However, using it in small amounts in a private place is a decriminalized act. Overall, the legality of magic mushrooms in Spain is highly ambiguous
Psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in Cambodia. However, the sale and use of them is usually ignored in tourist hotspots.
Technically, magic mushrooms are illegal in the nation of Laos. However, they are sold openly. Shrooms are particularly popular in Vang Vieng, dubbed the world’s most unlikely party town.
Tourists can freely buy and consume magic mushrooms in this mountainous country. At present, shrooms are uncontrolled substances in Nepal.
This is yet another nation with seemingly ambiguous magic mushroom laws. One on hand, the Philippines is a signatory to the 1971 UN treaty. On the other hand, psilocybin mushrooms are not part of the nation’s Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Therefore, the country’s version of the DEA doesn’t arrest users of shrooms. Instead, they arrest drug dealers who sell the mushrooms along with other illegal drugs.
The Land of Smiles is another country where magic mushrooms are illegal but openly sold. In general, law enforcement doesn’t place the arrest of psilocybin users as a high priority.
Decree 73 added psilocin and psilocybin to the list of banned substances in Vietnam in 2018. Yet the law doesn’t forbid the use of mushrooms for ornamental uses. Scientists are also free to continue researching shrooms. In general, psilocybin mushrooms are openly sold in Vietnam despite the law.
Visitors to this tropical location are in luck. It is relatively easy to find psilocybin mushrooms in nature. The use and possession of mushrooms are not mentioned in Samoan law. There are plans to outlaw shrooms in the future. However, at present, there are no laws against the use of magic mushrooms in Samoa.
Final Thoughts on Where One Can Legally Take Magic Mushrooms
Ambiguity is the word of the day when discussing magic mushroom legality. The use of psilocybin is generally only fully permitted in the Bahamas, Brazil, Jamaica, Nepal, and Samoa. Even in these countries, it is a case of a lack of laws saying the drug is illegal, rather than laws expressly allowing its use. In dozens of other countries, there is some confusion over psilocybin and magic mushrooms’ legal status.
In some places, it is legal to use but not to sell. Meanwhile, in others, it is an illegal drug, but the law is hardly ever enforced.
We urge caution if you intend on buying and using magic mushrooms in the countries listed above. While one tourist may purchase and consume psilocybin with no problems, another could find themselves in legal strife.
Finally, don’t use magic mushrooms when alone. The unpredictable effects mean you should have a trusted friend close by.
We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any cases where an individual is arrested for the use of psilocybin after reading the information in this guide.