Are Magic Mushrooms Legal In The UK?
Psilocybe semilanceata, commonly known in the UK as the Magic Mushroom, and in the USA as Liberty Cap, appears in grassland in autumn. It is most commonly found on pasture and parkland that has not been enriched with artificial fertiliser.
Mushrooms and the Law
The introduction of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 made the possession, cultivation and sale of magical mushrooms illegal in the UK. Moreover, psilocybin (the active psychotropic in magic mushrooms) is currently a Class A substance, meaning that possession carries a maximum prison sentence of 7 years and an unlimited fine. However, if caught cultivating or supplying the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.
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Interestingly, up until 2005 the law only specified that mushrooms that had been prepared or created were illegal, meaning that so long as mushrooms were fresh, no offence had been committed. Unfortunately, the Drugs Act 2005 amended the existing legislation, so that mushrooms were completely outlawed, regardless of their preparation, or lack of.
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Many articles still make reference to various ‘loopholes’ in the law that the mushroom connoisseur may wish to exploit. Perhaps one of the most common is the myth that ‘mushroom grazing’ is a legal way of taking the substance. Unfortunately, whilst many police officers might find it humorous to stumble upon an individual eating mushrooms off the floor, this still amounts to possession of a Class A drug and a criminal offence.