DEA confirms psychedelic mushroom spores are legal

By Gabriel García January 26, 2024

Psychedelic mushrooms are mushrooms that contain hallucinogenic substances, such as psilocybin or psilocin, which can alter the perception, mood and thinking of those who consume them. These mushrooms have been used since ancient times by various cultures for ritual, religious or therapeutic purposes. However, in many countries, their possession, cultivation and consumption are prohibited or restricted by law.

In the United States, psychedelic mushrooms are listed as Schedule I controlled substances, meaning that they are considered to have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Recently, however, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has confirmed that psychedelic mushroom spores are legal at the federal level, as long as they have not germinated.

Spores are the reproductive cells of fungi, which are dispersed through the air or by other means to give rise to new individuals. Spores do not contain psilocybin or psilocin and are therefore not psychoactive. However, once the spores germinate and form mycelium (the vegetative part of the fungus), they start to produce these substances.

Confirmation of the legality of the spores came about as a result of an enquiry by a defence attorney for a client charged with possession of psychedelic mushroom spores in the state of Georgia. The lawyer asked the DEA for an official letter clarifying the legal status of the spores at the federal level. The DEA responded that the spores are not regulated by the Controlled Substances Act and do not require any permit or registration for possession or distribution.

The DEA’s letter, dated 13 October 2021, was published by the Marijuana Moment website, which is dedicated to reporting news related to cannabis and other drugs. According to this media outlet, the letter represents a “victory” for advocates of psychedelic mushrooms, who hope that their therapeutic potential to treat various mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, will be recognised.

However, the legality of spores does not mean that psychedelic mushrooms can be freely cultivated or consumed in the US. The DEA warns that any activity involving the germination or cultivation of spores is subject to criminal prosecution. In addition, some states have specific laws prohibiting or limiting the possession or distribution of the spores.

On the other hand, some states and cities have moved to decriminalise or legalise psychedelic mushrooms or other entheogenic plants (which produce divine or spiritual experiences). For example, Oregon became the first state to legalise the supervised therapeutic use of psychedelic mushrooms in November 2020. Likewise, several cities such as Denver, Oakland or Santa Cruz have passed measures to decriminalise or decriminalise the personal or religious use of these substances.

The legality of spores opens a door for access to and study of psychedelic mushrooms in the United States. However, there is still a long way to go to overcome the legal, social and scientific obstacles surrounding these ancient plants.

If you are interested in learning more about this exciting world, we invite you to consult the Psychonaut’s Guides by Argonowta. These books will give you a broad and balanced view of psychedelics and their potential therapeutic effects. Remember, however, that these substances are not a panacea or a magic solution to all your problems. Their use requires professional guidance, an appropriate context and a responsible attitude. Psychedelics can be a powerful tool for personal change, but they can also be dangerous if used inappropriately or irresponsibly.

The Psychonaut’s Guides from Argonowta Publishing is a collection of books that explain in a rigorous and accessible way the scientific, historical, cultural and experiential aspects of psychedelic substances. These guides offer updated and contrasted information on the therapeutic and neuroscientific applications of psilocybin, LSD, DMT and MDMA, as well as practical advice on how to prepare, carry out and take advantage of psychedelic experiences. The Psychonaut’s Guides are a must-have reference for anyone interested in learning about the psychedelic renaissance that is transforming mental health and changing lives.

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