The most recent pieces of research conducted in Canada have shown that people are getting more and more interested in knowing about the potential medical benefits of magic mushrooms and other psychedelics. Recent studies into this subject matter have shown that the use of magic mushrooms under the right conditions can reduce symptoms of depression, help to treat addictions, and even boost positive changes in an individual’s personality.
There are millions of Canadians that are currently suffering from depression and addictions, many due to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic. With so many people suffering from depression, magic mushrooms should be seen as a great avenue to treat their depressive symptoms. But this is not so because the Canadian laws regarding the use and purchase of magic mushrooms are quite stringent. The legal status of magic mushrooms and other psychedelics in Canada is currently going through a major change, and it may be difficult to keep up with everything going on so we have got you covered!
Through this article, we will explain every piece of information that you need to know about magic mushrooms and Canadian law. First, we will start with a little summary of the history of magic mushroom laws in Canada, evaluate the current legal structure regarding psychedelics, and then peer into the future and predict how we believe Canada will be regulating psychedelics in the coming years. Remember that all the information in this article is opinions made from thorough investigation and evaluation. We are not doctors or lawyers, so do not seek legal or medical advice from this article.
History Of Canadian Magic Mushroom Laws
Before 1957, most Canadians had never heard about magic mushrooms. It was that year that Life Magazine published an article that was titled “Great Adventures III: Seeking the Magic Mushroom”. In the article, Robert Gordon Wasson (the author) described his experience after visiting Oaxaca, Mexico, and taking magic mushrooms with some of Mexico’s indigenous people, known as the Mazatec. He said that he was the first white man on record to have ever eaten these “divine mushrooms”. This article served as a guide to many Americans, Canadians, and Europeans who visited Mexico in the 1960s to have an experience with these amazing and transformative mushrooms that Wasson had written about.
After all the tourists had gone back home from Mexico, they started noticing that the pasture mushrooms in their local surroundings were very similar to the ones they saw in Mexico. They later found out that those mushrooms with hallucinogenic properties grow naturally on every continent of the world. Magic mushrooms then began to be used in Canada in the mid-1960s, and the first criminal seizure of magic mushrooms happened in Vancouver in 1965 when some RCMP officers seized some liberty cap mushrooms from a group of students at the University of British Columbia.
The interest in magic mushrooms continued to grow exponentially particularly because of the hippie movement between the late 1960s and the early 1970s. Liberty cap mushrooms were grown in large amounts, throughout the fields and meadows of British Columbia, with thousands of pickers coming in from all around the country. These pickers would get there in autumn while the mushrooms were in season, creating mini-tent cities around the areas that produced the most shrooms. They usually committed some petty crimes like trespassing or property damage in an attempt to get those liberty caps growing on private land. At this point, magic mushrooms were still legal in Canada, but the process involved in getting and harvesting these shrooms was disruptive to the community.
And although these disruptive mushroom pickers created a myriad of problems for the local police, they did not affect the legislation of psychedelic substances nearly as much as a document from the United Nations titled “the Convention on Psychotropic Substances in 1971”. This document was an international treaty in which 71 countries agreed to work together to significantly reduce the number of psychotropic substances in circulation to the general public, and also restrict the use of psychotropic substances in scientific and medicinal settings. This 1971 convention identified psilocybin as a Schedule I drug, the highest possible level of restriction. Schedule I drugs were seen as those with a high potential for abuse having no known therapeutic value. This description might have fit magic mushrooms in the 70s but it certainly does not hold any longer. In the long run, this convention on the use of psychotropic substances heavily influenced how Canada and other countries wrote their laws to govern the use of psychotropics. In several countries, following the rules of the convention meant completely banning psychotropic substances like magic mushrooms, even without gaining full knowledge of their effects.
Magic mushrooms were prohibited in Canada in 1974 when the Government added psilocybin to the Food and Drug Act. From 1974 to 1979, about 350 people were convicted under the Food and Drug Act for the possession of magic mushrooms. Then in 1979, the British Columbia Court of Appeals adjudicated that the possession of magic mushrooms in their natural state (freshly picked) was not equivalent to the possession of psilocybin. SO, for the three years between 1979 and 1982, magic mushrooms became legal again in Canada, and the pickers and psychonauts were joyous.
Unfortunately, this joy did not last a long time. In 1982, a decision from the Canadian Supreme Court overruled the British Columbia Court of Appeals’ decision and stated that the possession of magic mushrooms in their natural state was actually possession of psilocybin. And just like going back in time, magic mushrooms became illegal all over again. This time though, they would be illegal for a pretty long time.
What Does The Law Say Now?
Magic mushrooms are still under prohibition in Canada, even though recent legislative changes forecast that this would change very soon. Ultimately, the review we provide about magic mushrooms and the Canadian law would not be complete without a detailed analysis of the way these mushrooms and the psilocybin compound are regulated in Canada today.
The Controlled Drugs And Substances Act
Magic mushrooms are not directly mentioned in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, although psilocybin (which is the primary ingredient in shrooms) belongs to the group of Schedule III controlled substances that include some other common psychotropics like:
1. Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
2. Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
4. Methylphenatide (Ritalin/Concerta)
In Canada, the possession of magic mushrooms in their natural state is still seen as the possession of psilocybin, The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) even states that any reference made to a controlled substance also includes any substances that contain that controlled substance. Therefore, all the laws applying to Schedule III controlled substances also apply to psilocybin and all magic mushrooms containing psilocybin.
Possession of Magic Mushrooms In Canada
The CDS currently prohibits anyone in Canada from the possession of psilocybin or magic mushrooms except it is authorized under Canadian law. Medical practitioners like lawyers, doctors, veterinarians, and so on may be allowed to prescribe psilocybin treatments to their patients under the current regulations. The patients who seek a prescription of magic mushrooms from a practitioner are required by the law to reveal any other purchase or acquisition of Schedule I, II, III, or IV drugs as well as any prescription gotten from such substances in the past 30 days.
Selling Of Magic Mushrooms In Canada
The CSDA currently prohibits anyone from having magic mushrooms with the purpose of trafficking them to other people.
Importing And Exporting of Magic Mushrooms In Canada
The CSDA has also banned the importing or exporting of magic mushrooms except it is authorized by the Canadian regulations in place.
Growing Magic Mushrooms In Canada
The CSDA has also banned the production of magic mushrooms in any form in Canada.
How Are These Laws Enforced?
All present indications show that the enforcement of drug crimes in Canada is on a decline. The number of arrests made per year for drug-related offences has dropped drastically by 30% in the last five years, as shown by Statistics Canada.
1. In 2015, the police arrested 99,827 Canadians for drug-related offences.
2. In 2016, the police arrested 95,417 people for drug-related offences.
3. In 2017, the police arrested 90,625 people for drug-related offences.
4. In 2018, the police arrested 84,927 people for drug-related offences. This was the year cannabis was finally legalized in Canada, so there was a significant change.
5. In 2019, the Canadian police arrested just 70,140 people for drug-related offences.
You might be wondering how much of all this involves magic mushrooms. Recently, the Vancouver City Council voted in a law that would crack down harder on magic mushroom vendors. Regardless, there have been several promising developments in the area of magic mushroom harvesting, and the arrests of people in possession of shrooms hardly ever result in a major penalty for those with clean criminal records.
Because of these factors, the courts usually show first-time offenders with a clean record a bit leniency, especially those with cases of simple possession. The penalty is usually no more than a fine of about 250-500 dollars.
The Future Of Canadian Mushroom Laws
Over the course of history, the courts have not always agreed on whether on not magic mushrooms should be illegal in Canada. Another factor that is now very clear is that those Candian lawmakers who voted to prohibit psilocybin were unaware of its medical benefits. They can’t be blamed because the technology of their time was not advanced enough to reveal the components and effects of psychedelic substances. However, these benefits have now come into the limelight and the government is beginning to shift from its stance on magic mushrooms. It is just like what we went through before cannabis was legalized. There are a lot of little shifts and soft changes in the regulation, but all these should eventually lead to the decriminalization and increased usage of psychedelics in the future. Below, we list some of the most important events and milestones that have been reached in the last five years regarding the legal status of magic mushrooms in Canada.
1. Magic Mushrooms Sold Online
Although psilocybin still has a huge question mark over its head, magic mushrooms are being sold openly online in Canada. Through digital dispensaries, a wide range of shroom products are sold to Canadians over the age of 19 with or without a medical prescription. Currently, the authorities are aware of these dispensaries but they have decided to focus their resources on tackling criminal activities involving more harmful drugs.
2. The Vancouver City Council Ending The Motion To Crack Down On Psilocybin Sales
There was no strong political drive in the motion to prosecute Canadians for magic mushrooms, and this became very evident on the 11th of September, 2019, in a meeting of the Vancouver City Council. That was when Councillor Melissa De Genova filed a motion with the title “Deterring and Preventing the Distribution and Sale of Psilocybin Mushrooms and/or Other Illicit or Controlled Drugs Unlawfully Sold in the City of Vancouver”. It is quite fascinating to see a government official introducing a motion on whether or not to enforce the de facto laws of the land. They are basically filing a motion to ask the police to do the job they’re already mandated to do. The fact is that the police are too busy tackling the impact of hard drugs like opioids and asking them to chase people with magic mushrooms (which have actual medicinal and therapeutic benefits) seems like a waste of time. Well, justice was served and that motion was laughed out of the city council with a commanding 6-2 vote.
3. Magic Mushroom Growing Kits And Spores Are Legal
Although the act of cultivating magic mushrooms is illegal, magic mushroom spores and growing kits can be bought in stores across Canada. It has not been stated that it is legal to buy these kits, but it is not stated explicitly that these kits are prohibited. It may be illegal under 7.1(1) of the CDSA to sell mushroom growing kits because they will be used to produce a controlled substance, but the sale of mushroom kits is common and it is generally allowed.
4. Magic Mushrooms Authorized For Palliative Patients
In April 2020, four Canadians who were in palliative care with terminal illnesses requested a legal exemption from the Canadian Ministry of Health that would enable them to use magic mushrooms to relieve the anxiety and depression associated with their illnesses. Later that year in August, it was revealed that their request had been granted and they were the first set of people that were allowed to legally use magic mushrooms in Canada since the Supreme Court created that law in 1982.
5. Ministry Of Health Supporting Research Of Psychotropics
At the top of this article, we spoke about some of the studies that have led to the discovery of new benefits of magic mushrooms that we did not know before. These results are quite promising and they have led to Health Canada handing out more legal exemptions to health professionals that want to conduct more research and create more therapy programs involving psilocybin. In December of 2020, Health Canada granted exemptions to 16 different social workers and medical professionals to possess and use psilocybin without any legal consequences. The psilocybin in their possession would be used to develop new treatment protocols for their patients.
6. Growing Mushrooms Could Be Legal For Medicinal Purposes Soon
The Ontario Court of Appeals stated in the year 2000 that Canada’s anti-cannabis was unconstitutional because the law did not provide an exception for medical use. The court said this violated the individual’s right to life, liberty, and security of the person as written in Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This legal precedent is basically stating that the government should not prohibit a private citizen from being prescribed a medicine that can help to improve their life’s quality. A couple of years ago, this statement might not have mattered in terms of magic mushrooms, but with the current pieces of research and developments, it definitely applies to psilocybin and its substances. If this precedent applies, that means the Canadians have the constitutional right to get medically prescribed psilocybin or even grow it for their personal use and benefit.
What Is Next For Canadian Magic Mushroom Laws
The trip to the legalization of magic mushrooms started in 2001 and the end seems closer than ever. And although magic mushrooms are still technically illegal, people in Canada are hardly ever penalized for simple possession and the rare penalties given to first-time offenders are usually a small fine not as much as a traffic ticket. The trend of drug enforcement in the country is on a decline and government bodies in Canada are now working towards reducing the amount of strictness pushed against psilocybin dispensaries in the city and online.
It is also essential that we take into account what is happening in other countries around Canada. In the United States, for example, magic mushrooms are still illegal at the federal level, although simple possession is no longer criminalized in places like:
1. Washington D.C.
2. Oakland, California
4. Ann Arbor, Michigan
5. Santa Cruz, Califronia
6. Denver, Colorado
In the years to come, we anticipate that there will be many more legal exemptions for the use of magic mushrooms, for both medical professionals carrying out studies and developing treatments and for the private individuals who simply want to enjoy the benefits of psilocybin substances. Several pieces of research are being conducted to find out the full range of health benefits that come with taking magic mushrooms. We believe that these studies will bring more evidence to show how much more magic mushrooms could benefit us. As the amount of evidence available continues to grow, Canadians who claim the constitutional right to access medical psilocybin will be answered.
If these theories hold, however, then the question we need to be asking is “when” these magic mushrooms will be legal and not “if”. One possible path to the legality of magic mushrooms involves the Federal Government of Canada removing psilocybin from the list of Schedule III Substances, although this depends very much on how Canadians vote. Current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he would not even consider decriminalizing drugs apart from cannabis while he is still in office. On the other hand, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has stated publicly that he would decriminalize all illegal drugs if elected into power.
Another path would be through a strong and successful constitutional challenge claiming that Canadians have the right to grow and possess magic mushrooms for medical purposes. If the people come together as a collective to declare our rights to life, liberty, and security of the person, the government should see that providing access to drugs like psilocybin, which have serious medicinal value, is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
For now, everything still hangs in the air as to whether Canada will formally legalize psilocybin and magic mushrooms. One thing is for certain though, and that is you can still get your magic mushrooms online in Canada. And no place offers higher quality mushrooms than nupepshrooms.com. Their shrooms are cultivated in pristine conditions to ensure that you get the very best out of your psychedelic experience. And you don’t even need to worry too much about the cost because they have slapped a fat 20% discount off purchases from their website. There’s no time to waste waiting for when Canada creates specific laws on the legalization of magic mushrooms when you can get high-quality mushrooms today from nupepshrooms.com!