Authored By: Olusegun Akinfenwa
Laws guiding the use of psychedelics are complex and murky in many countries. Even in many countries where these substances are freely used and sold, there are still various regulations restricting their exclusive consumption and possession. This begs the question: are there countries where psychedelics are legal or decriminalized? This article looks at five different countries with relaxed psychedelic laws.
Historically, Brazil has been one of the most liberal countries in terms of hallucinogenic substances. Take psilocybin, for instance, Brazil is one of the countries where people freely possess the substance. Technically, the psilocybin molecule is illegal in the country, because it is a signatory to the United Nation’s 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which restricts the use of psilocybin and other substances in many countries. However, the country itself has no laws prohibiting the sales, distribution, possession, and consumption of psilocybin or magic mushroom, one of the most popular psychedelics globally. This explains why there aren’t recent records of arrests or prosecution regarding the substances in the country.
Today, it is safe and comfortable to buy Psilocybin mushrooms in Brazil. You can order magic these mushrooms online or in stores across the country. Apart from the free use of psilocybin, the Brazilian government has also legalized Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca and similar psychedelics have a rich history among Brazil’s indigenous people. This is why the country is one of the most visited for ayahuasca ceremonies. The indigenous people’s strong connection to the substance (Ayahuasca) has been a major factor why the government hasn’t been successful in banning it.
Peru, just like many South American country, has a long history of psychedelic use. The indigenous tribes of the Peruvian Amazon have used Ayahuasca for centuries. The use of Ayahuasca is legal in the country. Every year, thousands of tourists from across the world visit the country for ayahuasca ceremonies. Some visit these retreats to try psychedelics for the first time, while others visit specific cognitive therapies. These retreats are organized by big private companies.
It’s no secret that the US is one of the countries with strictest drug laws. In fact, it is among the first countries that started the war on drugs decades back, banning the use of hallucinogenic substances countrywide. This move influenced many other countries to place psychedelics in the list of illegal drugs back then. Of course, the rule hasn’t changed – psychedelics still remain illegal by federal law. However, certain psychedelics, like psilocybin, have been decriminalized in some states. Examples are California, Denver, and Oregon. In Oregon, for instance, not only is psilocybin decriminalized, the state has recently voted to legalize the substance and some other hallucinogens.
Jamaica is one of the countries where psychedelics are sold openly and freely. It is legal to grow, own and sell both the psilocybin molecule and psilocybin mushrooms. It is also one of the most visited places for psychedelic retreats. Kingston, the capital, and other cities usually witness an influx of tourists for psychedelics ceremonies. The country’s free use of psychedelics shouldn’t come as a surprise, given its friendly environment for cannabis lovers. You can openly buy magic mushrooms on the streets of Negril and other Jamaican tourist towns. Little is known about other psychedelics, such as Ayahuasca, San Pedro, or lysergic acid (LSD), so it is best to ask questions on these substances.
The Netherlands is the most psychedelic-friendly country in Europe and one of the places where certain psychedelics are freely used globally. This is due to its relaxed drug laws, which respects people’s right to decide what they consider best for their own health. This is not to say psychedelics are generally legal in the country. However, Netherlands categorizes drugs into two groups – hard drugs and soft drugs. Psychedelics like peyote cactus, magic truffles, and salvia are grouped as soft drugs and are legal. This is why many “smart shops” in Amsterdam and other cities freely sell these substances, just in the same manner coffee is sold in many countries. Netherland is about the only country where magic mushrooms are illegal, but truffles are legal. The origin of this can be traced to 2008 when more than 200 mushroom types were put on the ban list after many deaths were linked to those substances. However, the ban didn’t include sclerotium kinds of fungi, and this has made truffles remain legal and common in the country. Growing kits and Spores are also legal in the country.
Olusegun Akinfenwa is a political correspondent for ImmiNews, a UK based organization that covers political and social events from around the world.
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