Are Psychedelics Legal in Canada

Are Psychedelics Legal in Canada?


Canada has taken a progressive stance on psychedelics. This was one of the first countries to enable psychedelic research to begin again after the 40-year worldwide ban starting in the 1960s and one of the only countries in the world that allow the use of psilocybin-assisted therapy.

Vancouver, BC, recently decriminalized all drugs, including psychedelics — and other major Canadian cities are exploring the decision to follow suit.

Here, we’ll explore the legality of common psychedelics in Canada — including magic mushrooms, LSD, MDMA, ketamine, and more. We’ll talk about the legal clinical use of these substances, as well as recreational and personal use.

Are Magic Mushrooms Legal In Canada?

Magic mushrooms are currently legal in Canada for medical use only. Only one Canadian city considers magic mushrooms decriminalized for personal use (Vancouver).

Despite being technically illegal, Canada has been very relaxed about the use of psychedelics for a long time. It’s rare to hear about anybody being prosecuted or charged for being in possession of magic mushrooms. In some places, you can find magic mushroom vendors operating in plain sight without any worry about arrest.

There are initiatives underway to try to officially relax outdated psychedelic laws. For example, the e-2534 petition to the House of Commons is a petition aimed at suspending the ban on adults’ use, cultivation, or exchange of plants or mushrooms.

In Canada, you can legally grow magic mushrooms as long as it is for medicinal or research purposes.

Related: Where are magic mushrooms legal?

Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild in Canada?

Yes, you can find wild magic mushrooms almost everywhere in the world, including Canada.

The most abundant place in Canada to find different species of psilocybe mushrooms are the temperate rainforests on the west coast of British Columbia and around the great lakes on the East Coast.

You may find species such as Psilocybe baeocystis, Psilocybe cyanescens, Psilocybe semilanceata, and Psilocybe cubensis.

What Are the Medicinal Uses of Shrooms?

In the last decade, scientific studies have repeatedly demonstrated the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin, psilocin, and magic mushrooms as a whole.

Studies suggest magic mushrooms may be effective in the treatment of mental health disorders, including depressionpost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)addictionexistential anxietycluster headaches, and more.

In addition, studies have shown that magic mushrooms and other psychedelics can help improve problem-solving skills and boost creativity.

Is LSD Legal In Canada?

In the 1960s, LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) use increased significantly in Canada. So much so that, in 1962, the Canadian government decided to criminalize this substance. This criminalization occurred around the world as part of a greater campaign initiated by the US federal government.

LSD is prohibited under Schedule III of Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Schedule III defines the drug as having a low potential for abuse and a moderate risk of dependence.

This means that Canadian laws have been less strict than most other countries — which tend to classify LSD in the highest tier alongside addictive substances such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

Are Psychedelics Legal in Canada?

Is MDMA Legal In Canada?

No. MDMA, also known as ecstasy, is illegal in Canada.

MDMA is a synthetic substance that produces stimulant and mild hallucinogenic effects. Unlike LSD, MDMA belongs to Schedule I of the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). This means that the law views it as a substance with a high potential for abuse and no recognized medicinal uses.

If the police catch you with this substance, you can face up to seven years imprisonment, while trafficking and production of the drug can result in life imprisonment.

Laws are likely to change here, opening up for the use of MDMA in clinical practice. It’s unlikely that Canada will see MDMA legalized, but if the trend starting in Vancouver continues, it may become decriminalized in the future.

Is Ketamine Legal In Canada?

Yes. Ketamine is legal in Canada, strictly for medical use.

Ketamine is a fast-acting anesthetic often used in veterinary medicine. It’s being explored for use in clinical settings as a treatment for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

There are numerous ketamine clinics already operating in Canada in virtually all major cities.

Recreational use of ketamine remains banned as a Schedule I controlled substance. This could bring a maximum penalty for possession of seven years imprisonment.

What’s The Difference Between Legalization & Decriminalization

It is a common mistake to confuse legalization and decriminalization. These are very similar terms but mean two entirely different things.

Decriminalization refers to reducing penalties for a legal offense significantly. Legalizing it removes all kinds of legal consequences and often provides a legal environment for a previously considered unlawful activity.

Key Takeaways: What’s The Future of Psychedelics in Canada?

Canadian drug laws are already more flexible compared to the rest of the world.

Canadian regulators are looking at case studies in Portugal, where all drugs were decriminalized, leading to a significant drop in overdose-related deaths and addiction.

Canada recently approved the therapeutic use of psilocybin for palliative care, and there are measures working their way through the pipeline that seek to enable practitioners to use psilocybin for other mental health conditions as well as cluster headaches.

Ketamine clinics are popping up around the country, and MDMA is on the docket for future legalization for medicinal use.

We’re unlikely to see other psychedelics become legalized in Canada but could see a country-wide move to decriminalize natural psychedelics soon — which would include ayahuasca, magic mushrooms, and more.

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