Are Psychedelics Legal in The United Kingdom?
The UK is one of the strictest countries in the world when it comes to psychedelics. Nevertheless, psychedelic use remains widespread and widely available.
This article will teach you about the legality of magic mushrooms, LSD, ketamine, and MDMA in the UK, and more.
UK law defines this psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) as a Class A drug. This classification denies psilocybin has any medicinal value and suggests it to be a highly addictive and dangerous drug.
There’s no evidence to support this distinction. More and more studies are released each year, adding concrete evidence for the safety and therapeutic benefits of this substance. It’s unlikely magic mushrooms will remain a Class A drug in the UK for much longer.
The maximum penalties for possessing this substance are not as harsh as in other European countries. If caught with hallucinogenic mushrooms, your sentence can be up to 7 years imprisonment.
Related: Where are magic mushrooms legal?
Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild in The United Kingdom?
Magic mushrooms grow in many parts of the world, and the UK is no exception. London’s forests are home to more than 80 individual species of magic mushrooms. Picking them is accepted, but selling them is illegal.
When it comes to magic mushrooms, the most common species is the liberty cap (Psilocybe semilanceata).
What Are the Medicinal Uses of Shrooms?
In recent years, psilocybin research has been expanding, and there’s mounting evidence favoring therapeutic use.
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a synthetic psychedelic derived from the ergot fungus. The effects are similar to psilocybin.
LSD is illegal worldwide.
Like psilocybin, LSD is considered a Class A drug under UK law. Drugs belonging to this class are considered to be the most dangerous.
The maximum penalty for LSD possession in the UK is seven years in jail.
The UK has what’s called the Analogue Act — which makes all isomers of illegal substances illegal by default as well. This means all lysergamide psychedelics are illegal in the UK, too — including LSZ, 1P-LSD, ETH-LAD, PRO-LAD, ALD-52, AL-LAD, and more.
MDMA (ecstasy) is a stimulant and mild hallucinogenic substance. In recent years, its use has grown significantly, especially in young people.
Like the drugs mentioned above, MDMA is illegal in the UK.
It’s included in the class A category, which means it’s considered dangerous. If caught with this MDMA, you can spend up to 7 years in prison, depending on the amount and any prior convictions. The more often you’re caught breaking this law, the bigger the punishment.
Is Ketamine Legal In The UK?
No. Ketamine —an anesthetic often used in surgery or veterinary medicine —is illegal in the UK for recreative purposes.
Ketamine is a dissociative with a wide range of therapeutic benefits. In the states, it’s being used as a treatment for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
In lower doses, it’s used recreationally as a party drug similar to MDMA. Unlike most other psychedelics, ketamine can become habit-forming and lead to addiction.
Historically, ketamine was considered a Class C substance in the country. However, since 2014 it has been reclassified to Class B. This means that now penalties for use and possession are harsher than before. This change was adopted as an attempt to reduce the recent uptick in ketamine-related addictions. So far, this change has not produced any significant change in ketamine addiction.
The penalty for the illegal possession of ketamine is five years in prison.
It’s essential to understand the differences between legalization and decriminalization. This will save you from future problems that may arise by misinterpreting these terms.
When we talk about decriminalization, we mean that the penalties for a prohibited activity are reduced. This doesn’t make it legal, but it does remove criminal charges and jail time from offenders. You may still get a fine and/or confiscation of materials.
Legalization means completely removing any penalties for a substance or activity that was previously illegal. There may still be restrictions in place for legalized substances.
The UK is slowly moving towards the legalization of certain psychedelics for medical use. This is a trend we’re finding all over the world.
Many other countries, including Portugal and Spain, have moved to decriminalize drugs as a way to reduce problems with addiction and abuse of addictive substances (with promising results so far). We don’t see this happening anytime soon in the UK.