Any fungus that contains psilocin or psilocybin is controlled in the UK. Therefore, magic mushrooms are prohibited to be cultivated, possessed or sold under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Magic mushrooms are classified as Class A drugs in the UK, meaning the most severe punishment for possession is up to seven years and an unlimited fine. However, this harsh a sentence is extremely unlikely. In fact, if you were caught with a small amount for personal use – say up to 5 grams – you’d probably get away with a caution. 

It’s a different story if you get caught growing them, though. Technically, a life sentence is the maximum sentence for supply of any Class A drug, including magic mushrooms. In practice, however, longer sentences are only used for major traffickers, and rarely, if ever, for cases involving only mushrooms.

In fact, I’ve struggled to find any reports of people receiving any sort of punishment for growing magic mushrooms. But that could be because it’s so rare.  In reality, if you are growing a small amount of magic mushrooms, like one or two grow boxes worth, you have little chance of getting caught and an even smaller chance of getting sentenced to time in prison. The most likely result is you’ll get a fine.

Magic mushrooms may be illegal in the UK, but did you know that magic mushroom spores and grow kits are completely legal? That’s right, microscopic magic mushroom spores contain no psilocybin, so they are not outlawed under the Drugs Act 2005 which made “fungi containing psilocybin” a Class A drug.

Therefore, magic mushroom spores can be easily bought online for “research purposes”, but you’ll be breaking the law if those spores happen to germinate and grow. 

Many online shops that sell spores also sell grow kits separately – all you need to do is inoculate the growing substrate with spores and pretty much wait (there’s slightly more to it than this, but not much). 

Growing your own magic mushrooms will be the most economical way to get hold of them. A grow kit and all the equipment needed will set you back about £50 at most, from which you’ll easily get up to 100g per flush. 

It’s been over a year since Boris Johnson agreed to reschedule psilocybin and other psychedelic substances in order to allow research into them. However, nothing has changed in the months since. Earlier in 2023, three world-renowned British psychiatrists wrote to Sajid Javid, the health secretary, and Kit Malthouse, the crime and policing minister at the Home Office, urging a rethink on psilocybin laws.

There has been no recent review of the evidence for psilocybin’s current scheduling and there is not and never has been an evidential basis for psilocybin’s current scheduling, the letter stated. They argue that the Home Office’s refusal to downgrade the compound “is inconsistent with the precedent set by cannabis-based products for medicinal use in 2023”.

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