Psychedelic Drug Laws in the United Kingdom

Psychedelic Drug Laws in the United Kingdom

When it comes to psychedelics, the United Kingdom is one of the toughest countries in the world. Nonetheless, psychedelic usage is common and freely available. Psychedelic Drug Laws in the United Kingdom

This page will inform you about the legal status of magic mushrooms, LSD, ketamine, and MDMA in the United Kingdom.

Summary of Psychedelic Drug Laws in the United Kingdom

  • Punishments vary depending on the type of substance and whether the case is heard in a Magistrate’s Court or a Crown Court.
  • Class A substances are punishable by a fine or up to 7 years in jail; Class B substances are punishable by a fine or up to 5 years in prison, and Class C substances are punishable by a fine or up to 2 years in prison.

United Kingdom: Drug & Penalties Chart

Sentencing through Magistrate’s Court/Crown Court
ACocaine, methadone, morphine, heroinMDMA, LSD, magic mushroomsUp to 6 months &/or a fine/
Up to 7 years &/or a fine
BCannabis, codeine, some amphetamines, mephedrone, synthetic cannabinoidsKetamineUp to 3 months &/or a fine/
Up to 5 years &/or a fine
CAmphetamines, benzos, buprenorphine, GHB, anabolic steroids, BZPUp to 3 months &/or a fine/
Up to 2 years &/or a fine


Magic mushrooms have been prohibited in the United Kingdom since 1971. Previously, many used magic mushrooms as a substitute for LSD, which was outlawed even earlier, in 1967.

Psilocybin (the active component in magic mushrooms) is classified as a Class A drug under UK legislation. This categorization implies that psilocybin has no therapeutic benefit and is a highly addictive and hazardous substance.

This distinction is not supported by evidence. Each year, new research is published, providing definitive proof of the safety and therapeutic advantages of this medication. Magic mushrooms are unlikely to stay a Class A drug in the UK for much longer.

Maximum penalties for having this chemical are less severe than in other European nations. If you are found possessing hallucinogenic mushrooms, you might face up to 7 years in prison.

Related: Where are magic mushrooms legal?

Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild in the United Kingdom?

Magic mushrooms grow in various regions of the world, including the United Kingdom. More than 80 different types of magic mushrooms may be found in London’s woodlands. Picking them is permitted, but selling them is prohibited.

The most frequent species of magic mushroom is the liberty cap (Psilocybe semilanceata).

Other species, such as the fly agaric mushroom (Amanita muscaria), can be found.

What Are the Medicinal Uses of Shrooms?

Psilocybin research has grown in recent years, and there is rising evidence that it can be used therapeutically.

According to a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine research, psilocybin may help alleviate clinical depression.

Other studies have found that magic mushrooms can help with existential anxiety (as utilized in palliative care), addiction and substance misuse, and cluster headaches.

Psilocybin mushrooms are also being studied for their potential use in trauma-informed treatment, as well as their capacity to improve problem-solving abilities and stimulate creativity.

Map of Magic Mushroom Decriminalization in Europe

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a hallucinogenic that is synthesized from the ergot fungus. The effects are comparable to those of psilocybin.

LSD is prohibited in every country.

LSD, like psilocybin, is classified as a Class A drug under UK legislation. This class of drugs is regarded to be the most harmful.

In the United Kingdom, the maximum penalty for LSD possession is seven years in prison.

The Analogue Act in the United Kingdom renders all isomers of prohibited drugs unlawful by default. This implies that all lysergamide psychedelics are prohibited in the United Kingdom, including LSZ, 1P-LSD, ETH-LAD, PRO-LAD, ALD-52, AL-LAD, and others.

MDMA (ecstasy) is a stimulant with minor psychedelic properties. Its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, particularly among young people.

MDMA, like the other narcotics mentioned above, is prohibited in the United Kingdom.

It belongs to the class A category, which indicates it is harmful. If you are caught with this MDMA, you might face up to 7 years in jail, depending on the amount and previous offenses. The more the number of times you are found disobeying this legislation, the worse the punishment.

Ketamine, an anesthetic commonly used in surgery or veterinary medicine, is not authorized for recreational use in the United Kingdom.

Ketamine is a dissociative with several medicinal applications. In the United States, it is used to treat depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

It is used recreationally as a party drug at lesser amounts, comparable to MDMA. Ketamine, unlike most other psychedelics, has the potential to become habit-forming and addictive.

The penalty for illicit ketamine possession is five years in jail.

What’s the Difference Between Legalization and decriminalization

It is critical to grasp the distinctions between legalization and decriminalization. This will spare you from future troubles caused by misinterpretation of these terms.

Decriminalization refers to the reduction of the consequences of an illegal action. This does not make it lawful, but it does absolve criminals of criminal prosecution and jail term. You might still face a fine and/or material confiscation.

Legalization is eliminating all sanctions for a previously unlawful drug or behavior. Legalized drugs may nevertheless be subject to limitations.

Conclusion: What’s the Future of Psychedelics in the United Kingdom?

The United Kingdom is gradually heading toward the legalization of certain psychedelics for medicinal purposes. This is a global trend that we are seeing.

Many other nations, notably Portugal and Spain, have moved to decriminalize narcotics in order to reduce addiction and substance misuse (with positive outcomes so far). In the UK, we don’t see this occurring anytime soon. Psychedelic Drug Laws in the United Kingdom

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