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Starting with the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and followed by the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, international barriers to national-level drug policy reform were raised higher and higher. In recent years however, this UN drug control system has started to crumble in response to changing social and political views, starting with the legalisation of cannabis in several countries, and the removal of criminal sanctions for drug use in others. More and more countries are now reforming their drug laws, and the UN Chief Executives Board, which represents the heads of 31 UN agencies, has called for the “decriminalization of drug possession for personal use” and “changes in laws, policies and practices that threaten the health and human rights of people”.
In the map and text below, we track these changes and the status of drug policy reform efforts across the globe, with a focus on psychedelics. The precise effect of these changes are varied: some involve decriminalizing possession and personal use of psychedelics (such as in Portugal), others allowing access to psychedelics for medicinal uses (such as in Canada), while a few are legalizing possession, use, cultivation and sale of specific psychedelics (such as in Jamaica).
An important note—we’re neither lawyers nor residents in these countries, and our information is only as good as our interpretation of the materials we reviewed. If you believe or know otherwise for any jurisdiction, we invite you to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more about the history of psychedelic use, and how it has been impacted by the changes in drug policy, please see our background article.
Argentina has decriminalized psychedelic possession, but conflicting legislation remains.
In 2009, the Supreme Court of Argentina ruled in the Arriola Decision that criminalization of personal possession was unconstitutional, but the laws regarding drug criminalization remain on the books. Trafficking is still heavily penalized, but anecdotally, drug laws are rarely enforced and remain at the discretion of individual judges
Drug possession for personal use is not a crime in Armenia.
In 2008, the Armenian government amended the Criminal Code to reduce the penalties for possession and use of controlled substances. Prior to the 2008 reform measures individuals could be detained for up to two months for drug possession. Under the current law, those found with “small quantities” of illicit drugs will face up to a $400 fine. However, what constitutes a “small amount” is not defined by statute.
Drug use is not a crime in Austria and possession for personal use has been decriminalized.
Austria decriminalized the use and possession for personal use of drugs in 2016 with the adoption of the Addiction Prevention Strategy and reform of the Narcotic Substances Act, which together support the principle of treatment instead of punishment. Individuals found with illegal substances may undergo therapy in lieu of jail time. The sale and distribution of scheduled substances remains illegal.
An attempt to reschedule certain psychedelics recently failed.
As Schedule 9 substances, psychedelics like MDMA and psilocybin may only be used for scientific research with prior government approval. In November of 2020, a final proposal was introduced which would have rescheduled psilocybin and MDMA as Schedule 8 substances, which would allow for their medicinal use.
On December 15, 2021, an attempt to reschedule psilocybin and MDMA from Schedule 9 substances to Schedule 8 failed. However, activists in Australia remain committed to the eventual rescheduling of these substances.
As of July 1, 2023, MDMA and psilocybin will be available to specific populations and prescribed by authorized psychiatrists under the auspices of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). MDMA will be allowed in the treatment of PTSD, and psilocybin for use in treatment-resistant depression.
Psilocybin-containing mushrooms are legal in the Bahamas.
Magic mushrooms are not identified as a “dangerous drug” by the Bahamian government. The possession, sale, distribution and cultivation of magic mushrooms is legal in the Bahamas. Sales are technically prohibited under the 1971 UN Convention, but psilocybin, ibogaine, and even 5-MeO-DMT are also reportedly accessible at various resorts.
Use of drugs is not a crime in Belgium, though possession and selling is.
Use of controlled substances is not criminalized in Belgium. However, for substances besides cannabis, “Belgian law punishes possession, production, import, export or sale with 3 months’ to 5 years’ imprisonment and an additional fine of EUR 8,000 to EUR 800,000.”
Ayahuasca is legal in Bolivia.
Ayahuasca is legal in Bolivia and recognized as a traditional part of Indigenous culture. Ingredients to make ayahuasca can be freely purchased at markets. Other psychedelics and psychoactive substances remain illegal in the country.
Loopholes in Brazilian law mean mushrooms are legal, though psilocybin is not. Ayahuasca has been legal for us in Brazil since 1986.
Drug consumption is no longer penalized in Brazil. Psilocybin and psilocin molecules are deemed illegal under Brazilian law, but the fungal species that carry these compounds are not. Magic mushrooms containing psilocybin are therefore not considered illegal. Psilocybin mushrooms can be readily obtained from internet-based suppliers throughout the country; criminal charges for psilocybin possession have not been documented.
Although DMT is a controlled substance and illegal according to Brazilian law, ayahuasca used in spiritual settings has been legal for use in Brazil since 1986. Other psychedelics in the country are still illegal, including ketamine for human use.
The use of magic mushrooms is legal in the BVI, though their sale remains illegal.
Although the British Virgin Islands is a British Overseas Territory, the local legislature and courts are independent from the United Kingdom, and it applies its own system of BVI law. Hence, despite the illegality of psilocybin mushrooms in Britain, their use and possession is legal in the BVI. Their sale, however, is illegal. Nonetheless, visitors and locals report that mushrooms can be found for surreptitious purchase in some locations.
Psychedelic compounds are controlled substances in Canada, though spore kits can be purchased legally and psychoactive cacti can be legally grown.
Psilocybin, psilocin, and magic mushrooms are illegal in Canada under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act (CDSA). Recently however, some MPs have advocated for changing laws around psilocybin. The Canadian government has granted “some subsection 56(1) exemptions under the CDSA to individuals to possess and use mushrooms containing psilocybin.”. Additionally, physicians in Canada may request access to drugs such as psilocybin, LSD, or MDMA that have not been approved for medical use through Canada’s Special Access Program. Health Canada is moving forward in exploring MDMA therapy despite being Schedule I under Canadian law, whereas LSD and Psilocybin are Schedule III.
Drug use is decriminalized in British Columbia and was granted an exception by the federal government through 2026. Similar exemptions have been explored for Toronto, ON and Hamilton, ON. Drugs would not be confiscated for anyone found possessing small quantities, these individuals will instead be provided with resources for treatment.
In May, 2023, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government will look to individual provinces to determine policies regarding enforcement of laws prohibiting psychedelic mushrooms. In Vancouver, BC, shops selling magic mushrooms operate openly and prosecution for psychedelics remains unenforced. However, similar illegal storefronts operating in Winnipeg, MB, Hamilton, ON, Toronto, ON, and London, ON have been raided. Mushroom spore kits can be purchased legally, as they do not contain psilocybin or psilocin. Synthetic analog versions of LSD, such as 1P-LSD, can also be purchased in microdosing kits online.
Mescaline, and any derivative of mescaline, is classified as a Schedule II substance and is illegal in Canada, with the exception of peyote. Plants containing mescaline, such as the San Pedro cactus, can be legally grown for ornamental purposes (i.e. as a garden feature). The extraction of mescaline, however, is illegal.
Iboga, the West African shrub, is legal for personal use and possession in Canada. Ibogaine is a regulated prescription drug listed under Canada’s Prescription Drug List. Healthcare providers can request ibogaine for patient use through Health Canada’s Special Access Program, but the sale or distribution of both remains illegal under Canadian federal law.
While DMT remains illegal under Canadian law, similar to the United States, several ayahuasca churches operate under the purview of religious freedom. As of 2020 there are six ayahuasca churches operating in the county.
Possession of illicit drugs for the purpose of personal consumption has not been considered a crime in Chile since 2005.
Enacted in February 2005, Law 20.000 decriminalized the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use. However, the law does not specify what constitutes a “small amount” and group consumption is still prohibited. Further, under the current system, the burden is on the accused to show that the illicit drugs were in fact for personal use, otherwise individuals may face trafficking charges which carry prison terms. Psilocybin spores are not illegal under Chilean law and can be readily obtained from online sources.
It is unconstitutional in Colombia for the government to criminalize possession of illicit drugs for personal use.
Drug possession for personal use has been decriminalized in Colombia since a 1994 Constitutional Court decision ruled laws prohibiting such possession unconstitutional. However, attempts have been made to reverse this decision. Law 1801 of 2016 prohibited the possession of “alcoholic, psychoactive or forbidden substances” in public spaces. On June 6, 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled Law 1801 unconstitutional citing “no direct link between consumption of alcoholic or psychoactive substances and the destruction and neglect of public space.”
No specific restrictions exist in national law regarding unprocessed psilocybin mushrooms, along with grow kits and spores. Colombia does prohibit any drug included in the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which includes the compound psilocybin.
While the personal use of narcotics, including psychedelics, is prohibited, those who violate this prohibition are not penalized.
The General Health Law of Costa Rica prohibits the personal use of narcotics and other drugs, except for certain allowable medical use. However, Costa Rica does not penalize those who simply consume drugs. Law No. 8204 penalizes all activities related to the production, commerce, and trafficking of such narcotics and substances, but does not punish their personal consumption.
Psychedelics remain illegal in Croatia, but legislation has decriminalized drug possession.
On December 14, 2012, the Croatian Parliament passed a bill decriminalizing the possession of small quantities of illicit drugs, including psychedelics. This law became effective on January 1, 2013. Prison terms are still imposed on individuals engaged in the production and processing of illicit drugs. Possession of drugs is still addressed with mandatory rehab, community service or a €2,680 fine.
In the Eastern European nation, the possession and use of small quantities of psychedelic compounds is treated as a misdemeanor.
Czechia has decriminalized drug possession. “Small” quantities of psychedelic substances can be used and are treated as a misdemeanor and are not subject to criminal prosecution. An “amount larger than small” is defined as five to ten times larger than a typical active dose, depending on the substance. Czechia is one of several European countries that allow legal access to ketamine.
Psilocybin is recognized as having therapeutic uses.
The Danish government takes a more punitive approach to drug law enforcement than elsewhere in Europe, with an informal exception being the open cannabis trade in Copenhagen’s Freetown Christiania (although that has recently been under threat). Psilocybin and psilocybin spores are illegal in the country; however, the Danish government recognizes that psilocybin possesses therapeutic uses for treatment of substance abuse, and according to the “Decree on Euphoriant Substances,” “Pharmacies, including hospital pharmacies, dispensing and distributing veterinarians and distributing doctors are entitled to dispense euphoriant substances for medical use.” “Euphoriant substances” are listed on a series of schedules, and include many psychedelics. Ketamine is also available for medical use in Denmark.
Personal drug possession and use has been decriminalized in Ecuador.
In 2013, the drug regulatory office of Ecuador CONSEP, published a table that established what quantities constitute possession. For example, 0.020 milligrams of LSD are considered the maximum amount permissible, and 0.015 grams in the case of MDMA. The sale of even small quantities of psychedelic drugs remains illegal in Ecuador, however, grow kits and spores for psilocybin are not covered by existing law.
Possession of illicit drugs for personal use is decriminalized in Estonia.
Estonia passed amendments to its drug laws in 2002 that reduced penalties for possession of illicit drugs. According to the amended Act on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and Precursors Thereof, “possession of small quantities of any narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances” is punishable by a fine of €1200 and a maximum 30 day administrative detention. Starting in 2011, Estonia allowed people arrested for drug-related offenses to opt for treatment in lieu of prison if their sentence was to be for a period between 6 months and 2 years.
While Finland has a prohibitionist attitude towards psychedelic substances, there is some uncertainty surrounding the classification of the plants used to make ayahuasca tea.
The penalty for use or possession of small amounts of illegal drugs for personal use in Finland is a fine or up to two years in prison.
The plant ingredients used to brew ayahuasca, and the ayahuasca decoction itself, are not specifically scheduled as controlled substances in Finland. However, DMT is classified as an illegal substance in Finland under the Narcotics Act, which was amended in 2014 to include “new psychoactive substances.” The plant ingredients of ayahuasca, B. caapi and P. viridis , are listed on Finland’s “herb list” which means it can be treated as a medicine or an illegal drug, depending on whether medical use for it is shown. In a 2016 case, a Finnish court of appeals ruled that a plant similar to P. viridis, because of its high DMT content, was not an illegal drug.
France has relatively strict drug laws for Europe, but the government has recently implemented reforms.
Drug possession, including psychedelics, is treated harshly. Fines were formerly up to €3,750 and a year in prison, but in 2020 the government changed the law to allow a separate fine of between €150-450 which can be made in lieu of the former penalties. Psilocybin spores are also legal and accessible in France, although their cultivation remains illegal.
Germany has not decriminalized psychedelic substances, but it has reduced penalties and the threat of prosecution for personal use.
While the use of psychedelic compounds has not been decriminalized in Germany, prosecutors and courts can exercise discretion and refrain from prosecuting or punishing suspects found in possession of drugs in small quantities for his or her own personal use. The law does not define what constitutes a small quantity but focuses on the quantity of the active ingredient of what is measured.
Native magic mushrooms may legally be picked, but dried mushrooms are prohibited.
Psychedelics such as LSD and MDMA are illegal in Iceland under Article 6 of The Narcotics Act. This prohibition also includes psilocybin, psilocin and dried psilocybin containing mushrooms, however, reports suggest that no law specifically prohibits fresh psilocybin mushrooms.
Recreational use of psychedelic substances is not permitted; however psychedelics may be used if prescribed by an authorized doctor.
Israel is playing a major role in the psychedelic renaissance. While unauthorized possession of controlled substances is punished under Israeli law, exceptions allow for the use of “dangerous drugs” if prescribed by a doctor. In 2019, Israel became the first country to allow “Compassionate Use” of MDMA to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Only administrative penalties for drug possession exist in Italy. Attempts at further reform have been stymied by the courts.
Italy currently does not levy criminal penalties against those caught possessing illicit drugs, however administrative penalties like suspension of a driver’s license, passport, firearms license, or residential permit may occur.
In 2021, activists proposed a ballot measure which would also decriminalize the personal cultivation of certain psychoactive plants and mushrooms. Voters sought to vote on this measure in 2022, but this was blocked by a court ruling.
Magic mushrooms are legal for use in Jamaica.
Mushrooms containing psilocybin have never been prohibited in Jamaica, and psilocybin is not a controlled substance under Jamaica’s Dangerous Drugs Act. Accordingly, psilocybin mushrooms are legal for possession, use, sale, and cultivation. In fact, the Jamaican government is now actively encouraging the development of the psilocybin industry in the country, and retreats where people may legally consume psychedelic mushrooms are proliferating. Several psychedelic companies including HAVN Life have established operations in Jamaica. While Jamaica is known for psilocybin retreats, the legal status of drugs such as LSD and MDMA remain undefined.
Drug use is decriminalized in Latvia.
Latvia considers drug possession for personal use an administrative offense. Possession of “small amounts” of illicit substances, such as psychedelics results in a fine of €280. Possession of “larger amounts” can result in a penalty of up to 3 years in prison.
Penalties for drug use have been reduced.
Consumption of illicit substances in Lithuania is an administrative offense punishable by a fine, with trafficking resulting in 2 to 15 years in prison. Since 2017, possession of a “small amount” of psychedelics and other illegal drugs without the intent to sell is punishable by community service or house arrest. The definitions of “small”, “not large”, and “large” amounts for psilocybin are 5 g, 500 g, and 2,500 g respectively. For MDMA these are 0.2 g, 20 g, and 100 g. For LSD (and analogues) this is 0.0005 g, 0,05 g and 0.25 g.
The possession of small quantities of psychedelic drugs is not punishable as a crime under Mexican law.
Although the possession of psychedelic drugs is generally identified as a crime under Mexican law, the possession of psychedelics, including LSD and MDMA, is not criminally punishable in small amounts. Small quantities, such as up to 0.015 mg of LSD, up to 40mg of powder MDMA, or a single MDMA capsule or tablet weighing no more than 200 mg, are considered by law to be for “immediate and personal consumption” and are not subject to criminal prosecution, provided that use takes place outside of certain places, such as educational institutions and prisons. Mexican law permits the use of psilocybin mushrooms and peyote for spiritual ceremonies, as the Indigenous peoples have been doing for thousands of years. According to anecdotal reports, “hongos mágicos” are readily available for purchase in some areas.
Interesting trivia: The adoption of the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances in 1971 resulted in a mandate for member states to forbid the use of psilocybin. The treaty also necessitates that the substance be limited to medical and scientific investigations conducted under rigorous supervision. Notably, mushrooms containing psilocybin were not explicitly addressed in the convention, primarily due to pressure from the Mexican government, who introduced amendment E/CONF.58/L.28.
Recent discussion has occurred regarding psychedelics on the federal level, with a bill presented by Senator Soto Ruiz in March 2023 to legalize psychedelics for mental health treatment.
The status of magic mushrooms under Nepalese law is unclear.
Magic mushroom spores, magic truffles, grow kits and liquid peyote can be purchased in the Netherlands. The use of psychedelic substances has been decriminalized in small amounts.
Although psilocybin mushrooms are classified as a hard drug and are technically illegal in the Netherlands, this legislation does not cover a number of psychoactive products that are legal thanks to a legal loophole: the spores of magic mushrooms, magic truffles (that are similar to magic mushrooms, but a part of the fungus that grows underground, called the sclerotia), liquid peyote, or inoculated grow kits. Since September 2019, “hallucinogens and similar stimulants (such as magic truffles/sclerotia)” are taxed at 21%.
The possession of small amounts of fresh or dried psychoactive mushrooms has been decriminalized: up to 0.5g of dried mushrooms, and up to 5g of fresh mushrooms are permitted for personal use and will not result in a penalty. In general, psychedelic substances are defined as hard drugs, and users are permitted up to 0.5 grams/1 pill for personal use without threat of arrest.
The use of ayahuasca in a religious or spiritual context (i.e. In the church of Santo Daime) is permitted on the grounds that the right to religious freedom is enshrined in Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. However, seizure of ayahuasca has taken place in the Netherlands and some church members have suffered prosecution, indicating an increasing trend towards intolerance.
Psychoactive substances may be manufactured, imported, or sold if pre-approved by the government. It’s legal to grow certain psychoactive cacti in New Zealand but using them recreationally is strongly penalized.
In 2013, New Zealand passed the Psychoactive Substances Act, which created a regulatory authority charged with issuing licenses to entities to manufacture, cultivate, possess, research or sell approved psychoactive substances. Only approved individuals over 18 may buy or possess psychoactive substances under the act. As of October 1, 2021, the government has not approved any psychoactive substances.
Psychoactive plants containing mescaline may be cultivated for ornamental purposes, but it is illegal to cultivate them for recreational use. Mescaline is classified as a Class A Drug under The Misuse of Drugs Act in New Zealand, and carries the penalty of time in prison for possession and supply.
Recent efforts have decriminalized psychedelic possession in this Eastern European nation.
National laws state: “a person who enjoys narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors, will be fined anywhere from €100 to 250 in denar equivalent.” With the quantities defined being vague and left to the discretion of the court. Distribution is still punishable by a three to ten years sentence and gifting can be a one to five year sentence.
The government has presented a proposal to decriminalize drug possession.
On February 19, 2021, a proposal to decriminalize drug possession was presented to the Norwegian Parliament. If enacted into law, possession of up to 20 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, 1 mg of LSD, or 0.5 mg of MDMA would be exempt from punishment. The reform has stalled in parliament as of 2022.
Ayahuasca is legal for use in Peru.
Peru is one of the only countries in the world where ayahuasca is fully legal. In 2008, the Peruvian government declared that the use of traditional ayahuasca was a National Cultural Patrimony. However, the declaration distinguishes and protects traditional ayahuasca use, as opposed to de-contextualized, consumer, and commercial use.
Under Article 299, the possession of certain quantities of drugs for immediate personal use is not a crime. However, possessing an otherwise legal quantity of more than one type of illicit drug is illegal even if for immediate personal use.
The use and possession of small quantities of psychedelic substances was decriminalized in Portugal in 2001. Portugal was the first nation to decriminalize possession of all drugs.
The possession and use of psychedelic drugs for personal consumption has been decriminalized in Portugal. In 1999, after the approval of a national strategy to combat drugs and drug addiction, the Portuguese government issued Law No. 30/2000, which decriminalized the acquisition, possession, and use of specified plants, substances, or preparations for a person’s own consumption, and recategorized such conduct as misdemeanors.
To further implement the strategy, the government in 2001 enacted Decree-Law No. 183, which approved a general system of prevention policies, risk reduction, and minimization of harm that created programs and public health structures to increase awareness and refer drug addicts for treatment. If an individual is caught using or possessing small quantities of drugs for personal use, “not exceeding the quantity required for average individual consumption over a period of 10 days,” they will be evaluated by the Commission for Dissuasion of Drug Addiction (EMCDDA, 2020).
Drug use is not a crime in Slovenia.
In Slovenia purchasing psychedelics and other drugs for personal consumption is decriminalized. Possession of small amounts of magic mushrooms, LSD, DMT, MDMA, ketamine, and cannabis for personal use is also decriminalized though carries a fine of €42-209. However, the manufacture and sale of illicit drugs may be punished with jail time.
Small quantities of psychedelic substances are legal for personal use in Spain. A recent court decision may signal the end of ayahuasca criminalization.
Spain has decriminalized small amounts of psychedelic substances for personal use and possession. Psychedelic substances remain illegal to sell or distribute.
Rules may differ between regions. The Spanish model has been referred to as “decrim-lite” as opposed to full decriminalization, as it allows sub-national autonomous regions to pursue their own policies if they are based on harm reduction and the rejection of prohibitionist principles.
A landmark March 2020 trial related to ayahuasca importation in Spain concluded with an acquittal. The 17-page ruling found that “ayahuasca as a plant preparation is not subject to prohibition or control either internationally or nationally in Spain, as a psychotropic substance, drug, or narcotic.” The resolution of this case suggests a step towards relaxing the policing ayahuasca, and sets a precedent for another case in Spain currently in process. Although ayahuasca importation cases haven’t led to prosecution in Spain, the packages are almost always destroyed.
The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) recently granted several licenses to psychedelic companies to conduct operations for research and medicinal purposes.
In October of 2020 the Bureau of Standards for St. Vincent and the Grenadines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOA), which granted licenses to three companies to import, export, cultivate and process psychedelics for medicinal and research purposes. These companies include Ajori Health & Wellness Inc., SVG Biomed Inc. which has been renamed Headland Wellness Inc., and Merra Life Sciences LLC which has been acquired by Red Light Holland and rebranded Scarlette Lillie Sciences and Innovation Inc. The compounds of interest include psilocybin, ibogaine, peyote, ketamine, dimethyltryptamine, ayahuasca and sassafras. On March 21, 2022, Red Light Holland announced that it completed the first successful importation of its psilocybin iMicrodose packs to SVG.
Additionally, the SVG government has granted two licenses outside the scope of the MOU for research purposes only, including one to Med Plant Sciences Ltd.
It’s legal to grow, but not use, psychoactive cacti in Sweden.
The possession of cacti containing mescaline is legal, but the extraction of mescaline from these plants, and mescaline itself, is illegal in Sweden. Other psychedelics such as LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin are illegal in Sweden.
Members of the União do Vegetal Church are legally permitted to use ayahuasca.
Switzerland allows the religious use of ayahuasca. The Swiss Narcotic Act has no mention of ayahuasca, and the Swiss government has indicated that no permit is required to sell ayahuasca.
Consumption of a “negligible quantity” of controlled substances such as LSD, MDMA and psilocybin are decriminalized under Article 19b of the Federal Act on Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances. However, with the exception of cannabis, the law is unclear on what constitutes a “negligible quantity.
Some instances of psychedelic use are permitted in Switzerland. Therapists have been allowed to conduct research with LSD in limited circumstances.
Since 2017, Thailand has begun to adopt a new approach toward psychedelics and other traditionally illegal substances.
Prior to 2017, drug possession in Thailand often resulted in long prison sentences or even death. Effective 2017, Thailand passed amendments to its drug law that lowered the penalty for those caught possessing, cultivating, or selling illegal substances including MDMA, LSD, and psychoactive mushrooms. In 2021, the Thai government signaled that further changes to its drug laws would be forthcoming. The proposed bill would reduce penalties for those caught producing, importing, exporting, or possessing illicit substances.
In August of 2022, Thai Justice Minister, Somsak Thepsuthin announced that the Thai government is partnering with Khon Kaen University to grow and investigate the utility of psilocybin mushrooms as a therapeutic for several indications, including depression. Minister Thepsuthin also hinted that if the research provides positive results, psilocybin mushrooms could be rescheduled and removed from their current status as a Category 5 narcotic. On September 1, 2022, the Thai Narcotics Control Board met with Khon Kaen University officials to discuss the location of the psilocybin study and getting other universities involved.
For tourists, there are mixed levels of enforcement with regard to psychedelics and other drugs. “Mushroom shakes” or “happy shakes” are available in some locations. Drug laws remain punitive overall.
The use of drugs in private settings is not considered a criminal act in Ukraine.
The use of drugs in private in Ukraine is not considered a criminal act. However, use in public can carry a penalty of up to 3 years in jail. Additionally, possession of only “small amounts” of drugs is not a crime, instead administrative penalties apply. As opposed to some European countries, Ukraine allows for the medical use of ketamine.
It’s legal to grow psychoactive cacti for ornamental purposes in the U.K., but is illegal to use them.
Cacti containing mescaline can be legally grown for ornamentation purposes in the U.K. They are illegal, however, if dried, cut into ‘buttons’, or prepared otherwise for consumption purposes. Mescaline is classified as a Class A drug.
Due to a legal loophole, fresh psychedelic mushrooms were legal in the UK until 2005, but this loophole was closed making fresh and dried magic mushrooms illegal. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson was considering rescheduling psilocybin mushrooms, with no further discussion from his administration.
A bipartisan array of MPs came forward in May 2023 advocating reform of drug policy surrounding psilocybin and debated a motion on access to treatment.
Peyote and ayahuasca are protected for use in specific spiritual settings in the United States. A petition has been filed to reschedule psilocybin. A New Drug Application for MDMA is expected to be filed with FDA this year.
Under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), psychedelics (except ketamine) are Schedule I substances. This means that in the federal government’s view psychedelics have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Therefore, except in limited circumstances, psychedelics are federally illegal in the United States. However, several state and local governments in the U.S. have started to reform laws that ban psychedelics. In many cases, this results in conflicts between state and federal laws.
Despite contrary federal law, the states of Oregon and Colorado have both legalized the use of psilocybin mushrooms for supervised, regulated adult use with no medical prescription required at certain regulated locations. Colorado has also expanded decriminalization to apply to the personal use of ibogaine, ayahuasca, and mescaline for personal use. Oregon has reclassified personal possession of small amounts of drugs as a civil violation with a $100 fine. Criminal penalties still apply for possession of larger amounts and commercial drug activities. In 2022, a storefront selling psilocybin mushrooms opened in Portland, OR before being shut down by authorities.
Various forms of psychedelic therapy are offered to select groups such as veterans or first responders in other states as well. Over a dozen cities in the United States have deprioritized or defunded criminal law enforcement and prosecution in connection with the use of psilocybin or other psychedelic compounds. Although criminal drug laws may still be in effect within those states, such local policy changes are often labeled as “decriminalization.” See Psychedelic Alpha’s U.S. Legalization & Decriminalization Tracker for more granular detail.
At a federal level, the use, possession, and cultivation of peyote as part of bona fide religious ceremonies in Native American spiritual or religious contexts is legal, regardless of the user’s race. The fundamental principles governing use of peyote are enshrined in the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1994. The expansion of its use was extended to non-Native American Indian individuals following the US vs. Boyll case, which allowed the use of peyote as a sacrament by all involved in the Native American Church.
Ayahuasca use in specific religious contexts is also protected at a federal level. The União do Vegetal (UDV), a church that uses ayahuasca as a sacrament, has a federal exemption from prosecution when using ayahuasca in spiritual ceremonies. The UDV achieved this right through a successful legal challenge decided by the United States Supreme Court. Three Santo Daime churches in the State of Oregon received a federal exemption from prosecution, and there is also a registered legal Santo Daime church in Los Angeles.
On January 15, 2021, attorneys representing Dr. Sunil Aggarwal and the Advances Integrative Medical Science (AIMS) Institute sent a letter to the U.S. Drug and Enforcement Agency (DEA) asking for permission to prescribe psilocybin in accordance with the Right to Try (RTT) Act. The DEA sent a reply to this letter stating that “the RTT does not waive the requirements of any provision of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) or its implementing regulations.” Further, the DEA stated in its reply “absent an explicit statutory exemption to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), DEA has no authority to waive any of the CSA’s requirements pursuant to the RTT.” Unsatisfied with the DEA’s reply, Dr. Aggarwal and AIMS sought judicial review of the agency’s decision. On January 18, 2022, A bipartisan group of legislators sent a letter to the U.S. Drug and DEA urging it to allow psilocybin use in accordance with the RTT Act.
On January 31, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion on the agency’s decision. The court found that it lacked jurisdiction to review the DEA’s decision because courts may only review “final decisions” of administrative agencies, and the DEA letter in question was not a “final decision.”
On February 2, 2022, Dr. Aggarwal, who was denied the ability to administer psilocybin under the RTT Act, filed a petition with the DEA to challenge the federal government’s classification of psilocybin as a Schedule I substance. On September 23, 2022, the DEA sent a letter to Dr. Aggarwal in response to his petition, rejecting his challenge to the scheduling of psilocybin. The letter noted that this decision constituted the DEA’s “final decision.”. In response, attorneys representing Dr. Aggarwal filed suit in the Ninth Circuit challenging the DEA’s final decision denying rescheduling of psilocybin. Unlike in Dr. Aggarwal’s January 2022 lawsuit, since the DEA’s decision here was final, the Ninth Circuit has deemed themselves to have jurisdiction to hear the case. With the decision from the DEA, the hearing date was set concerning transferring of the case to the purview of the Department of Health and Human Services on July 11, 2023.
Possession of all drugs for personal use, including psychedelics, has been legal in Uruguay for several decades.
In 1974, Uruguay enacted Law 14.294 which legalized possession of small quantities of all drugs, including psychedelics for personal consumption purposes. However, the law does not specify what constitutes a small quantity, and leaves this up for judicial interpretation. Under Article 30 of this law it remains illegal to produce, cultivate, or possess for reasons other than personal use “substances capable of producing psychological or physical dependency.” In 2013, an exception to the prohibition of cultivation and production was created for “cannabis and its derivatives” with the passage of Law 19.176.
Reform of psychedelic drug laws and policies is complicated and progressing in different ways in different places. In order to provide a nuanced yet quick-reference overview, we place jurisdictions into a number of categories:
These general categories do not always completely capture the diverse nature of reforms underway. As such, we provide more detailed information for each city jurisdiction, which can be reviewed state-by-state above or by clicking a location on the map.
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Of course, it should go without saying that this tracker is provided for informational purposes only, with no guarantees of its completeness or accuracy. It is not legal advice. Before pursuing any activities which may carry penalties, you should consult with a lawyer in your jurisdiction.