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Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in Quebec?

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The short answer is “No”

Magic Mushrooms are illegal in Quebec for usage, possession and distribution. Although the usage and possession are relatively unenforced in Quebec and Canada as a whole.

History of Legalization in QC

Indigenous peoples in Quebec, like many indigenous cultures worldwide, have a long history of using psychedelic substances in their spiritual and healing practices. Some indigenous communities have used magic mushrooms as a means to connect with the spirit world and for healing purposes. These traditions predate European colonization.

The use of magic mushrooms in Quebec was increased by the influence of European traditions, especially during the 1960s and 1970s when there was a surge in interest in psychedelics. The counterculture movements of the time brought about an increased curiosity about altered states of consciousness, and magic mushrooms were one of the substances explored.

The legal status of magic mushrooms in Quebec and Canada has evolved over time. In the past, psilocybin-containing mushrooms were not explicitly regulated. However, in 1974, Canada placed psilocybin on the list of controlled substances. This made the possession, sale, and distribution of magic mushrooms illegal.

Montreal & Quebec City

Montreal, the vibrant metropolis, has become a focal point for psilocybin decriminalization efforts. The city has been exploring the idea of deprioritizing the prosecution of individuals found in possession of small quantities of psilocybin mushrooms, aligning with the principles of harm reduction and recognizing the potential therapeutic benefits of these fungi. Similarly, Quebec City, with its rich history and unique charm, has also shown interest in adopting a more lenient stance towards psilocybin possession, mirroring the sentiments of its metropolitan counterpart.

However, it’s crucial to understand that while these urban centers in Quebec may be embracing more progressive approaches, the federal legal status of psilocybin mushrooms in Canada remains consistent. Regardless of local policies, the possession, production, trafficking, or sale of these mushrooms remains illegal under federal law. The ongoing evolution of psilocybin’s legal status in Quebec’s largest cities is a captivating journey within the broader context of drug policy reform, one that deserves close attention and ongoing discussion.

Current Legal Status

The usage, possession and trade of Magic Mushrooms and psilocybin are illegal in Quebec although the usage and possession are relatively unenforced. The legal status of magic mushrooms, specifically psilocybin-containing mushrooms, in Quebec, and the rest of Canada was regulated under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). This act classified psilocybin as a Schedule III controlled substance, making it illegal to possess, sell, or distribute for recreational purposes.

In August 2020, Health Canada granted an exemption to several terminally ill patients, allowing them to use psilocybin-assisted therapy to alleviate end-of-life distress. This marked a significant shift in the approach to psilocybin use for therapeutic purposes.

The Minister of Health also announced that the Canadian government would allow certain healthcare professionals to apply for an exemption to possess and use psilocybin for training in psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. This indicated a growing recognition of the therapeutic potential of psilocybin.

Therapeutic and Medical Usage

Magic Mushrooms are scarcely used in the medical sphere within Canada. Here are the few exceptions that may be used for administration of Psilocybin.

Exemptions for End-of-Life Care: Health Canada granted exemptions to several terminally ill patients, allowing them to use psilocybin-assisted therapy to alleviate end-of-life distress. This decision was based on the potential for psilocybin to provide psychological and emotional support to patients facing a terminal diagnosis.

Psychotherapy Training: The Canadian government announced that certain healthcare professionals could apply for exemptions to possess and use psilocybin for training in psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. This move indicated an acknowledgment of the therapeutic potential of psilocybin in treating mental health conditions.

Clinical Trials and Research: Canada has been actively involved in clinical trials and research related to psilocybin-assisted therapy. Researchers and organizations have been exploring the effectiveness of psilocybin in treating conditions such as depression, PTSD, and substance use disorders. 

Penalties for Possession or Sale of Magic Mushrooms in QC

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.