Disclaimer: Psilocybin is a potentially illegal substance and we do not encourage you to use mushrooms if it is not lawful to do so in your area.
Psilocybin is one of the most common naturally-occurring psychedelic substances in the world. It is found in over 200 species of mushrooms, known colloquially as magic mushrooms. They are so common that you may have a magic mushroom patch growing in your own backyard, or in a nearby field or forest.
Psilocybin mushrooms have a long history of traditional use; from indigenous Australians over 10,000 years ago, to modern Mexican peoples who still hold magic mushroom ceremonies today.
Are Magic Mushrooms Legal?
Psilocybin and psilocin, the main psychoactive ingredients in magic mushrooms, are prohibited substances in many countries. As such, shrooms are also illegal to possess, grow, sell or purchase in most places.
The UN’s Vienna Convention of 1971 was an attempt to crack down on the rise of synthetic drugs such as LSD and MDMA, and it led to the creation of highly ignorant laws in its member countries, such as the US Psychotropic Substances Act and the UK’s Misuse of Drugs Act. The Vienna Convention specifically mentions psilocybin and psilocin as schedule I substances; however, it does not clarify whether organic materials containing psilocybin/psilocin are also prohibited.
This means that some countries have interpreted the Vienna Convention to mean that psilocybin mushrooms are not as illegal as psilocybin itself, and have made exceptions for its cultivation, use or sale.
Where are magic mushrooms legal?
In Brazil, it is legal to possess, consume, and sell magic mushrooms – even though the substance psilocybin is technically illegal. Brazilian law requires that illegal activities have specific laws written about them, and there are none related to fresh mushroom cultivation or sale.
Although the British Virgin Islands prohibits the sale and transport of magic mushrooms, possession and personal use is legal. You may even notice vendors selling them to tourists without apparent consequences.
Jamaica doesn’t seem to have a problem with magic mushroom use, and there are even a number of shroom retreats in the country.
In the Netherlands, although psilocybin mushrooms are illegal, a loophole in the law allows for the cultivation, purchase, and use of “magic truffles.” Truffles are just a different stage of development of a mushroom, and truffles of psilocybin mushroom species still contain hefty quantities of psilocybin.
In Austria, the use of psilocybin mushrooms is decriminalized, but you may be required to attend therapy if you’re found with them. You can also grow your own mushrooms, as long as they’re for aesthetic purposes and you don’t ingest them…
Canada places restrictions on psilocybin mushrooms, but you can legally purchase mushroom spores. We would advise against growing magic mushrooms for ingestion, as this could be interpreted as manufacture of a prohibited substance under Canadian law.
Costa Rica is an unclear case – although personal drug use has been decriminalized, the production (including growing) and sale of magic mushrooms is probably illegal. Despite this, a number of magic mushroom retreats operate in Costa Rica, apparently without repercussions.
The cultivation of magic mushrooms has been decriminalized in the Czech Republic, as long as you are only growing a “small” amount. Possession of “large” amounts is still illegal (but it’s hard to know what these quantities are).
Psilocybin is officially illegal to possess, cultivate and sell in Mexico; however, authorities turn a blind eye to sacramental or traditional use and cultivation of fresh mushrooms, as the Vienna Convention makes an exception for sacramental use of plant medicines.
Magic mushrooms are decriminalized in Portugal, meaning you can possess small amounts without going to jail. However you’ll end up going to court-mandated rehabilitation or therapy if you get caught.
In Spain, the personal use of magic mushrooms has been decriminalized. There is ambiguity surrounding the use of grow kits and spores, and the possession of small amounts of fresh mushrooms. It’s best to not take any risks.
The United States has some big exceptions to the prohibition of psilocybin. Surprisingly, it’s legal to buy magic mushroom spores in most states (as long as you aren’t going to use them to actually grow mushrooms). Some states also prohibit the sale of spores (currently California, Georgia and Idaho). Amazingly, it’s legal to grow psilocybin mushrooms in New Mexico – and there’s even a religious group devoted to their sacramental use. Magic mushrooms have been decriminalized in Denver and Oakland, and other US cities may follow this example and make their own specific magic mushroom laws.
Are there legal alternatives to magic mushrooms?
If you live somewhere that prohibits magic mushrooms, you may not have many legal options for obtaining them. Check whether your country allows for the purchase of grow kits or spores, as you may be able to cultivate shrooms even if psilocybin is illegal.
If you live in the EU, you may be able to purchase magic truffles from a vendor located in the Netherlands; some ship to other countries, and magic truffles may not be covered by the laws in your country.
Some “research chemicals,” such as 4-AcO-DMT, have been designed to mimic the effects of psilocybin, and are legal in some countries. However we advise against purchasing unknown chemicals from unregulated sources. It’s much safer to go out mushroom foraging!
Where do I find magic mushrooms?
Magic mushrooms grow in almost every continent on Earth (except Antarctica). They are mostly found in forested areas close to bodies of water, or sometimes in fields occupied by grazing animals.
Foraging for magic mushrooms is easy; you just need to go into the countryside and look around! Follow our handy mushroom identification guide to discover the most common varieties of magic mushrooms in your country!
How do I get started with growing magic mushrooms?
If you live somewhere that allows the cultivation of magic mushrooms, you have an exciting opportunity to grow your very own plant medicine.
Mushroom spores can be bought legally in some countries, allowing you to grow your own magic mushrooms from scratch. In some places, you can even order grow kits online, making the whole process a lot easier, and meaning you don’t have to buy a lot of the raw materials.
Stay tuned for our up-and-coming guide to growing magic mushrooms. Subscribe to our mailing list on our homepage to stay updated!