France is famous for having some of the strictest drug laws in Europe.
For example, possessing MDMA, LSD, ketamine, or other psychedelic drugs can cost you up to a year in prison and €3,750.
Below we will explain the legality of different drugs in France and how the laws are likely to change over the next couple of years.
Summary of Psychedelic Drug Laws in France
- Possessing psychedelics for personal use carries a fine of up to €3,750 and/or up to one year in jail.
- Larger amounts carry a fine of up to €7,500,000 and/or up to ten years in jail.
France’s Drugs & Penalties Chart
|Class||Substance||Psychedelics||Penalties for Possession|
|I||Heroin, cocaine, cannabis, methadone, opium||—||Personal use: (50 g of cannabis; 5 g cocaine): Up to 1 year in jail, fine up to €3750|
Large amounts of narcotics: Up to 10 years, and €7,500,000
Large amounts of psychotropics: Up to 5 years
|II||Codeine, propiram||—||See above|
|III||Amphetamine||MDMA, LSD||See above|
|IV||THC, 4-MTA, nabilone||MBDB, ketamine||See above|
- Article L3421 of the Penal Health Code
- National Drug Policy: France
- IMPORT, EXPORT, STORAGE, AND DISTRIBUTION OF CONTROLLED DRUGS – REGULATIONS IN UK, FRANCE, AND GERMANY Wissenschaftliche Prüfungsarbeit
- List of Substances Classified as Narcotics & Psychotropics
Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in France?
No. Magic mushrooms are not legal in France.
The penalty for possessing psilocybin-containing mushrooms established by law (Articles L1110-1 à L6441-1) is up to one year in prison and a fine of 3750 euros.
However, in 2020 French authorities passed a bill (article L3421-1) to mitigate this penalty. So the only thing you have to do to avoid more substantial punishment is to pay a fine of up to 450 euros imposed by the police.
Magic mushroom spores, on the other hand, are legal in France. Because they do not contain psilocybin, they’re technically allowed to buy and sell online.
Map of Magic Mushroom Laws in Europe
Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild in France?
Yes, you can find several species of magic mushrooms in France.
Psilocybe cubensis is common in warmer, more humid regions of France. In the more temperate areas, Psilocybe semilanceata is more common.
These are some of the other species you can find there:
- Psilocybe baeocystis (found in temperate forests)
- Psilocybe bohemica (found in woods with lots of birch & hornbeam trees)
- Psilocybe weilii (found in coniferous forests)
If you wonder which one is the most potent, Psilocybe bohemica is probably the strongest species you’ll find in France.
What Are the Medicinal Uses of Shrooms?
Research says that psilocybin can help people suffering from mental conditions, but only if combined with other forms of therapy and support.
Is LSD Legal in France?
No. LSD (short for lysergic acid diethylamide) is illegal throughout France.
LSD is classified as Annexe III (equivalent to Schedule III in the US).
If the police find you with LSD, you’ll get fined 150 to 450 euros. However, the penalty for possessing drugs is one year in prison and €3,750. The 450 euro fine works to mitigate this penalty, so make sure you pay it if you receive it.
Is MDMA Legal in France?
No, MDMA (ecstasy) is illegal in France.
Possessing ecstasy there is punishable by one year in prison and €3,750. However, it’s possible to mitigate this penalty by paying a fine of between 150 and 450 euros.
Recently, some studies have tried to demonstrate the medicinal uses of MDMA. Thanks to this, some European countries have opened the debate on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.
However, French authorities have not yet intended to change their zero-tolerance policy on MDMA and other amphetamine psychedelics.
Is Ketamine Legal in France?
Yes, ketamine is legal in France, but only for medical use. It’s used as an anesthetic (during surgical procedures) and to treat PTSD and depression.
Most doctors don’t prescribe ketamine. Instead, patients come to the clinic and are given an IV treatment before being discharged a few hours later. This treatment is repeated every 2–4 weeks in a hospital.
Possessing ketamine without a prescription is illegal.
The punishment for possessing ketamine is a fine of between 150 and 450 euros.
However, keep in mind that this fine only works to mitigate the actual penalty, which carries a year in prison and 3750 euros. If you get a fine, pay it — putting it off could result in substantially worse penalties.
Is DMT Legal in France?
No. DMT (dimethyltryptamine) is entirely illegal in France.
Although French law only specifically mentions N, N-DMT, any of its derivatives are also prohibited. Although the sanction is not entirely clear, we recommend you avoid any isomer of DMT in France.
Also known as the spirit molecule, DMT is an abundant substance in nature. It’s famous for its powerful but short-lasting psychoactive effects. It’s the active ingredient in ayahuasca, Bufo alvarius venom, and changa. You can also find DMT vapes and milder versions such as 5-bromo-DMT or 4-AcO-DMT.
Related: Ultimate Guide to DMT Vape Pens.
What’s the Difference Between Legalization & Decriminalization?
Thanks to recent scientific advances, many countries are re-evaluating legalizing psychedelic drugs. However, lawmakers also talk a lot about decriminalization.
Here we will explain the fundamental differences between decriminalization and legalization.
As has happened with cannabis in many places, legalizing a substance allows citizens to buy and possess it without any penalties. This means that the drug becomes readily accessible, either for medicinal or recreational use.
On the other hand, decriminalizing a drug only reduces or eliminates the penalties for possession but doesn’t provide a legal context for commercialization. Decriminalized substances are still illegal, but the punishment for the crime becomes substantially milder.
Key Takeaways: What’s the Future of Psychedelics in France?
French drug laws are some of the toughest in Europe.
LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin are illegal, along with most other psychedelics. Possessing any of them is punishable by 3750 euros and up to a year in prison.
However, in 2020, the authorities took a big step toward decriminalization. An amendment to the drug law allows citizens to pay a fine of up to 450 euros to mitigate the penalty.
Despite this, lawmakers have warned that this does not mean decriminalization. Still, it is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.