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Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in Nunavut?

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The short answer is “No”

Magic mushrooms, which contain the psychoactive compound psilocybin, are considered illegal in Nunavut, as well as in all other Canadian provinces and territories for recreational use.

History of Legalization in NU

The history of the legal status of magic mushrooms in Nunavut, as in the rest of Canada, is primarily governed by the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), which became law on May 14, 1997. Under this legislation, psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found in magic mushrooms, is classified as a controlled substance.

As of the enactment of the CDSA in 1997, magic mushrooms were generally illegal for recreational use, and their possession, sale, or cultivation without proper authorization was prohibited. This legal framework has remained consistent across all provinces and territories in Canada, including Nunavut.

However, the legal landscape surrounding magic mushrooms, particularly in the context of medical and therapeutic use, has been evolving rapidly in Canada in recent years. Changes at the federal level, such as exemptions granted by Health Canada for patients with terminal illnesses to access psilocybin-assisted therapy, have influenced discussions about the potential legal status of psilocybin and its availability for medical and therapeutic purposes.

Current Legal Status

Although magic mushrooms, and more specifically psilocybin, are considered to be illegal in Nunavut, Health Canada has the ability to make exceptions for those suffering from a terminal illness. Many have found psilocybin to be a cure for their anxiety, depression and “fear of death”.

Penalties for Possession or Sale of Magic Mushrooms in NU

The possession and usage of psilocybin can lead to charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, with penalties varying based on the quantity held, typically encompassing fines of up to $1000 and a potential imprisonment of up to 6 months, particularly for first-time offenses, though penalties may escalate for repeat infractions. It’s essential to recognize that while the enforcement of laws regarding magic mushroom possession may be lenient, it’s advisable to remain informed to ensure personal safety.

On the other hand, engaging in the sale or trafficking of magic mushrooms constitutes a more severe offense. Consequences for such actions can result in substantial fines and imprisonment, with the gravity of penalties contingent on factors like the quantity sold and the accused’s history of drug-related violations. If the purpose involves exporting or trafficking, the accused may face imprisonment of up to 10 years.