While psychedelics remain mostly illegal around the world, the policies surrounding these substances are quickly changing. In the U.S., all psychedelics, except ketamine (primarily considered a dissociative) are on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances list, and federally illegal. That said, in different localities at the municipal, county, and state levels, certain naturally occurring psychedelic substances, like psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline, and ibogaine,, are decriminalized for personal possession. In other cases, jurisdictions like the state of Oregon, have decriminalized all drugs, including psychedelics like MDMA and LSD, along those that are naturally occurring. At the federal level, MDMA and psilocybin-assisted therapies are completing Phase 3 clinical trials that could lead to them being rescheduled. In some cases, psychedelics like ayahuasca or peyote are legal for religious use for particular groups, under religious exemption and protection policies.
Things to Know
- The different paths to lifting psychedelic prohibition include decriminalization, legalization, rescheduling, and religious use protections
- While psychedelics are mostly illegal at the federal level, a patchwork of localities are lifting prohibition through grassroots and state legislative measures
- Ketamine is legal off-label in clinics around the country
LSD is classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that it has no currently accepted medical use.Read about LSD legality.
Psilocybin Mushroom Legality
The decriminalization of psilocybin mushrooms throughout the U.S. is in part the product of FDA clinical trials proving psilocybin’s safety, and promising results of clinical trials investigating psilocybin’s efficacy as a treatment for various mental health conditions.Read about psilocybin mushroom legality.
MDMA has been classified as a Schedule I drug under the US Controlled Substances Act since 1985, and is illegal in most countries. However, FDA clinical trials investigating its therapeutic benefits for PTSD may result in MDMA being rescheduled as a medicine in the US.Read about MDMA legality.
The Drug Enforcement Agency classifies ketamine as a Schedule III drug under the Controlled Substances Act.Read about ketamine legality.