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Newfoundland and Labrador

Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in Newfoundland and Labrador?

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The short answer is “No”

Magic mushrooms are considered illegal in Newfoundland and Labrador and throughout Canada, although the prosecution of users and possessors are generally unenforced. They are classified as a controlled substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

History of Legalization in NL

The legal status of magic mushrooms in Newfoundland and Labrador has been influenced by Canada’s changing drug laws over the years. Psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms, has been a controlled substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act since its introduction in 1996. This act made the possession, sale, or cultivation of psilocybin-containing mushrooms illegal without proper authorization.

The legal status of magic mushrooms within Newfoundland and Labrador has not shifted much from the national consensus set out by Canada. 

Current Legal Status

Magic Mushrooms are currently illegal for possession, use and distribution in Newfoundland and Labrador. Although in recent years, there has been a growing shift in the public perception and legal framework surrounding psychedelics like psilocybin.

In August 2020, the Canadian Minister of Health granted an exemption to Section 56(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, allowing patients with terminal illnesses to access psilocybin for end-of-life care. This move was influenced by research suggesting the therapeutic potential of psilocybin in treating conditions like depression and anxiety.

 Therapeutic and Medical Usage

Various research institutions and organizations across Canada, including Newfoundland and Labrador, have been exploring the therapeutic potential of psychedelics like psilocybin. Clinical trials have been conducted to study the safety and efficacy of psilocybin in treating conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use disorders. These studies often involve controlled settings and trained professionals to administer psilocybin.

A community has been growing in NL, known as the Psychedelic Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. Started by Brandon Batstone, many psychedelic users have come together to discuss and share in a community of like-minded people. One member is an unnamed 55-year-old women had struggled with PTSD until a weeklong trip to a psychedelic psychotherapy clinic in Jamaica, where the drug is legal. She spoke about the difficult experience of exploring her inner trauma during the trip, but returned to Canada with a true sense of relief that no traditional medicine could bring her.

Penalties for Possession or Sale of Magic Mushrooms in NL

For simple possession of psilocybin, individuals could face charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Penalties may vary depending on the amount in possession, but it often includes fines of up to $1000 and potential imprisonment of up to 6 months. These are for “first-time incident” and can increase in severity for those who are repeat offenders. Please remember that the laws behind the possession of Magic Mushrooms are “not-enforced” but use this knowledge to keep yourself safe!

Selling or trafficking magic mushrooms is a more serious offense. Penalties for the sale of psilocybin can include significant fines and imprisonment, with the severity of the penalties depending on factors such as the quantity sold and whether the accused has a history of drug-related offenses. If used for the purpose of exporting and/or trafficking, the accused could face up to 10 years of imprisonment.