Psychedelic Drug Laws in Belgium

By Phil Dubley Last Updated: July 14, 2022
Last Updated: July 14, 2022
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Psychedelics are increasingly becoming accepted in Western medicine since recent studies show they can help treat numerous disorders and diseases. Unfortunately, they are illegal almost everywhere worldwide, including in Belgium.

This article will delve into the legal status of substances like LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA, among others, in this country. We will also show you what afflictions and disorders they can help treat or deal with.

Summary of Psychedelic Drug Laws in Belgium

  • Psychedelics are mostly illegal in Belgium
  • The penalties for possessing a controlled substance can be harsh here, though they depend on the amount you were possessing
  • You can find five species of magic mushrooms throughout the country
  • Marijuana is illegal but decriminalized

Belgium: Drug Laws Chart

ClassSubstancePsychedelicsPenalties
NaturalKhatMushrooms (psilocybin), cactus (peyote), Salvia divinorum, ayahuasca3 months to 5 years in prison, fines from EU 8,000 – 800,000
Semi-syntheticCocaine, crack, heroinLSD3 months to 5 years in prison, fines from EU 8,000 – 800,000
SyntheticAmphetamines, GHB, NPSKetamine, PCP, MDMA3 months to 5 years in prison, fines from EU 8,000 – 800,000
Cannabis, personal use1st: EU 120 – 200; increased fines and possible imprisonment after

Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in Belgium

No, magic mushrooms are illegal in Belgium.

The Belgian Royal Decree of 1998 regulates controlled substances in the country. In their list, you can find almost all psychedelics, including psilocybin. 

In addition, Article 2bis of the Belgian Narcotics Law states penalties ranging from three months to five years in prison and a hefty fine for possessing any of these substances.

Although the Belgian law considers psilocybin a dangerous substance, the latest research indicates the opposite. For example, Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered multiple therapeutic benefits of psilocybin and advocates for its reclassification.

Learn: Where Are Magic Mushrooms Legal/Decriminalized?

Where to Buy Magic Mushroom Spores in Belgium

As Belgian law omits psilocybin mushroom spores, we assume they are legal here. Still, remember that cultivation is illegal, so you can go to jail and receive fines should you get caught.

Fortunately, getting this type of spores is easier than it seems. You can easily order them through websites like Zamnesia, a Dutch site that ships to Belgium and almost all of Europe.

Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild in Belgium?

Yes, magic mushrooms grow naturally almost everywhere, including in Belgium. 

Psilocybin mushrooms can be found growing in the forests around Belgium, as well as in various city parks and gardens. 

Here are some of the most prevalent species of magic mushrooms found in Belgium: 

Psilocybe semilanceata

This species is easy to identify thanks to its particular bell shape and small size. Look for it after long rains in wooded and humid areas. 

Panaeolus cinctulus

You will probably find this species growing solitarily, mainly in compost heaps, lawns, and well-fertilized gardens. You may also find it on horse manure.

Pholiotina cyanopus

This species is one of the most common in Eastern Europe and commonly grows in lawns, fields, and green areas in temperate weather from June onwards. Also, you can find it in wood chips and other woody debris.

Psilocybe cyanescens

This species grows naturally mainly on wood chips in urban areas and lignin-rich substrates. Look for it during autumn, when temperatures are between 50-65℉ (10-18 °C).

Gymnopilus spectabilis

This species is famous for its characteristic ocher color and large size. It can be found on stumps and fallen branches of planifolia and rarely on conifers forming lawns.

What Are the Medicinal Uses of Shrooms?

First of all, it is worth clarifying that psychedelics as a whole are helpful only accompanied by adequate therapy.

Furthermore, there’s a big push for the legalization of psilocybin in North America and Europe, thanks to significant research on their use in psychotherapy.

These are the most important therapeutic benefits of psilocybin:

  1. Depression: Psilocybin can bring the patient into a deeper state of consciousness, helping the therapist discover the root of the condition more easily.
  2. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): In the same way that psilocybin can treat depression, it can also help overcome severe trauma. It can also relieve anxiety and other symptoms characteristic of PTSD [1].
  3. Existential Anxiety: A recent study shows that psilocybin can help people with existential anxiety [2]. This disorder usually arises in terminally ill people when they learn that death is near.
  4. Cluster Headaches: Science cannot yet explain precisely how psilocybin helps those suffering from cluster headaches. Nonetheless, both this compound and LSD are effective against this condition [3].
  5. Addiction: Several people have been able to quit vices such as alcohol and tobacco thanks to psilocybin and other psychedelics [4].

In addition to the power to treat all of these conditions, psilocybin and most psychedelics can improve problem-solving skills and creativity.

Is LSD Legal in Belgium?

No, LSD is illegal in Belgium. 

Despite its many therapeutic benefits, most countries ban LSD [5]. In Belgium, the penalties for possession can be very harsh, depending on the exact amount.

If the police catch you with LSD, you can spend from three months to five years in prison and may have to pay fines.

Is DMT Legal in Belgium?

No, DMT is illegal in Belgium.

DMT is one of the most potent psychedelics, famous for being in ayahuasca, changa, and psychedelic toads. This substance is illegal in most parts of the world, and Belgium penalizes its possession, sale, and use.

If the Belgian police catch you with DMT or any other mixture containing the compound, you may be imprisoned for up to three years.

Is MDMA Legal in Belgium?

No, MDMA is illegal in Belgium.

MDMA, or ecstasy, is one of the most popular drugs in the 21st century, and, interestingly, Canada recently legalized MDMA-assisted therapy.

Unfortunately, MDMA is still illegal in Belgium and most parts of the world. Getting caught in possession of this substance will lead to imprisonment and paying significant fines depending on how much you were carrying.

Is Ketamine Legal in Belgium?

No, ketamine is also illegal in Belgium.

Ketamine has proven effective in therapy dealing with treatment-resistant depression and PTSD [6]. In some countries, you can even legally access it for medicinal purposes. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Belgium, as it is a controlled substance here.

Consequently, you can go to jail for three months or up to five years and receive a fine for possessing ketamine.

Is Marijuana Legal in Belgium?

Cannabis is illegal in Belgium but decriminalized.

Although drug laws are very tough in Belgium, there is a distinction regarding cannabis. Depending on the quantities and circumstances, possession and consumption are legal.

For example, you can smoke a joint in the street as long as there are no minors around and you do not possess over three grams in your pocket. If the police observe you evading any of these conditions, they can summon you to court.

Furthermore, delta 8 THC is also legal, and you can access various products on the internet. The law omits other derivatives, such as delta 9 and delta 10, so it is not entirely clear if they are allowed or not.

Unfortunately, its medical use is illegal, although you won’t go to jail for using it.

What’s the Difference Between Legalization & Decriminalization?

Many confuse legalization with decriminalization, so we’ll briefly explain each.

Decriminalization is when the criminal sanctions attributed to an act are drastically reduced. For example, if marijuana is decriminalized, the penalties for possession or consumption are significantly lower — in the worst case, you may only receive a fine.

On the other hand, legalization eliminates all related penalties. Going back to the previous example, if marijuana is legalized, you won’t have to hide to smoke it, and you would even be able to buy it anywhere as if it were tobacco or alcohol.

Key Takeaways: What’s the Future of Psychedelics in Belgium?

Canada has legalized MDMA and magic mushrooms for psychotherapy, and Portugal has recently decriminalized drugs and appears to be on its way to legalization. These countries have also experienced positive results stemming from these measures.

For the moment, we cannot assume anything about the legal future of psychedelics in Belgium. However, we believe that as research on psychedelics continues to grow, more countries will consider their legalization or decriminalization.


References

  1. Psiuk, D., Nowak, E., Cholewa, K., Łopuszańska, U., & Samardakiewicz, M. (2021). The potential role of serotonergic hallucinogens in depression treatment. Life, 11(8), 765.
  2. Psiuk, D., Nowak, E., Cholewa, K., Łopuszańska, U., & Samardakiewicz, M. (2021). The potential role of serotonergic hallucinogens in depression treatment. Life, 11(8), 765.
  3. Sewell, R. A., Halpern, J. H., & Pope, H. G. (2006). Response of cluster headache to psilocybin and LSD. Neurology, 66(12), 1920-1922.
  4. Bogenschutz, M. P., Forcehimes, A. A., Pommy, J. A., Wilcox, C. E., Barbosa, P. C., & Strassman, R. J. (2015). Psilocybin-assisted treatment for alcohol dependence: a proof-of-concept study. Journal of psychopharmacology, 29(3), 289-299.
  5. Fuentes, J. J., Fonseca, F., Elices, M., Farré, M., & Torrens, M. (2020). Therapeutic use of LSD in psychiatry: a systematic review of randomized controlled clinical trials. Frontiers in psychiatry, 943.