Psychedelic Drug Laws in Ireland

Tripsitter Last Updated: April 28, 2022 Print

Ireland has strict laws regarding the possession and use of recreational substances, and psychedelics aren’t any different. Magic mushrooms are regulated, and possessing them is considered a criminal offense, except for some specific cases.

This article will delve into psychedelics’ legal status in the country. Additionally, we’ll discuss the future of these substances regarding medical uses and their benefits.

Summary of Psychedelic Drug Laws in Ireland

  1. Psychedelic substances are mainly illegal in Ireland, and there are very few exceptions.
  2. Even for medicinal substances, the distribution is highly regulated.
  3. Laws are strict, and the penalties can be harsh.
  4. There are no substances decriminalized or legalized for recreational purposes.

Irish Drug Scheduling

ClassTypes of SubstancesPsychedelics
Schedule IDangerous substances with no medicinal or scientific valueMDPV, bufotenin, CBN, coca, LSD, mescaline, psilocin, DMT
Schedule IIStrictly controlled medicinal products used for scientific purposes which have a high likelihood of being abusedPCP
Schedule IIIControlled medicinal products that have a high likelihood of their being abusedKetamine
Schedule IVControlled medicinal products with a moderate risk of being abusedNone
Schedule VProducts containing a relatively small proportion of certain substances listed in schedules 1-4None

Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in Ireland?

No, magic mushrooms are not legal in Ireland.

Ireland’s drug laws classify psychedelic substances, including magic mushrooms, as controlled drugs under the 1977 Misuse of Drugs Act. Furthermore, other substances not specified in that act fall under the Criminal Justice Act if they have psychedelic effects.

If you’re charged with possession for personal use, you can be fined or jailed for up to seven years. However, the law does distinguish between personal use and distribution, with the latter being a more severe offense. 

There are no specified amounts for what counts as personal, so the difference between a fine and imprisonment depends on the court.

Some organizations advocate for the reclassification of psilocybin, a petition that Johns Hopkins Medicine backs up due to its low potential for abuse and medicinal uses.

Legal Status of Magic Mushrooms in Europe

Legalization Status

Where to Buy Magic Mushroom Spores in Ireland

Since magic mushroom spores do not contain psilocybin, they are considered legal in Ireland. Therefore, spores and mushroom grow kits can be legally commercialized in Ireland. You can find them in stores or online shops.

However, keep in mind that they become illegal once they’re germinated.

Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild in Ireland?

Yes, there are various species of magic mushrooms native to Ireland. Below are the most common ones you can find throughout the country.

Remember to be careful when picking wild mushrooms since you might confuse them with similar-looking ones. These other fungi could be potentially dangerous to use. Take an expert with you to reduce this possibility.

Gymnopilus spectabilis

Also known as Gymnopilus Junonius, you can find these tawny brown mushrooms from June to November. They grow on tree stumps in moist woodland areas, especially near rivers. They have a bitter taste and are served after boiling at least three times to eliminate toxins.

Panaeolus cinctulus

This mushroom is popular in places where commercialization is legal, like California. They can be found on compost piles or fertile lawns and gardens. The best time to look for them is from spring to fall, right after rain.

Psilocybe cyanescens

This is a particularly potent mushroom species, as they contain both psilocybin and psilocin. They grow primarily on lignin-rich wood scraps, like mulching for gardens or plant beds. You can find them between late October and February, or when temperatures are around 10°C to 18°C.

Psilocybe semilanceata

These are some of the most common mushrooms found in nature and are highly potent too. They grow in wet grasslands and feed off of decaying grasses. You can find them during autumn and early winter.

What Are the Medicinal Uses of Shrooms?

For the last few years, research about mushrooms has been favorable, as they show that psilocybin could be beneficial for psychotherapy. The push for legalization is strong in North America and Europe. There is even a study currently being conducted in Dublin that could lead to mushrooms being approved for medical use.

These medical benefits include treating depression, an illness that’s been steadily rising. A single session with psilocybin can improve the symptoms by changing the afflicted person’s brain chemistry and thought process.

If these treatments get approved, they could lead to revolutionary changes in psychological therapies.

Other findings suggest magic mushrooms and the active ingredient, psilocybin, could be useful in the treatment of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), addiction, cluster headaches, and anxiety in terminally ill individuals

Is LSD Legal in Ireland?

No, LSD is not legal in Ireland.

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is regulated under Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Act. This means that LSD is considered to have no medical or scientific value. It makes it illegal to possess, distribute, or produce this substance.

Being charged with possession of LSD could also lead to a fine or up to a year of imprisonment.

Other lysergamide psychedelics haven’t been added to the controlled substances list — however, as per the Psychoactive Substances Act, they’re considered illegal due to their similarities to LSD. 

Other lysergamides include LSZ, ETH-LAD, PRO-LAD, 1P-LSD, 1B-LSD, 1V-LSD, AL-LAD, LSA, ALD-52, PARGY-LAD, and more. 

Is DMT Legal in Ireland?

No, DMT is illegal in Ireland.

Like LSD, DMT (dimethyltryptamine) is a Schedule 1 substance, and the penalties for possession are similar.

Also, ayahuasca and changa are prohibited. There was an attempt in 2014 to decriminalize them for religious purposes, but it was rejected.

Both of the active ingredients in Bufo toads, 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin, are specifically named as illegal in Ireland as well. Importing the animal directly (native to Mexico and Southern USA) is also illegal under the Criminal Justice Act. 

Is MDMA Legal in Ireland?

No, MDMA is not legal in Ireland.

MDMA also falls under Schedule 1, making it strictly illegal to possess.

Although other countries are evaluating the chance of legalizing the use of MDMA in therapy, there are no similar movements in Ireland.

Other amphetamine psychedelics are also banned, including MDA, DOM, DOC, DOI, and several others. 

Is Ketamine Legal in Ireland?

Ketamine is only legal for medical purposes.

Unlike other substances placed in Schedule 1, ketamine is considered a Schedule 3 substance. This means that you can use it for medical purposes, but it’s heavily regulated.

While ketamine is mainly prescribed for its use with anesthesia, other countries legalizing it for psychological treatments might push Ireland to do the same.

Ketamine analogs and other members of the dissociative arylcyclohexamine drug class (including PCP) are also illegal in Ireland.

Is Marijuana Legal in Ireland?

Marijuana is illegal in Ireland for recreational purposes and legal for medical use.

Although medical use of cannabis in Ireland is legal, getting the necessary approval requires going through the Minister of Health. Possession of small amounts of marijuana is unlikely to result in jail — but the charges come down to the discretion of the court. 

Cannabis was approved for medical use in the 1997 Misuse of Drugs Act, which replaced the one from 1934. Still, getting your application approved is a complicated and lengthy process.

Other cannabinoids, such as delta 8 THC, delta 10 THC, or HHC, are not mentioned in the Controlled Substances Act. It’s unclear whether these cannabinoids are legal or not. 

What’s the Difference between Legalization & Decriminalization?

Although you may think they’re the same things, there are a few differences between legalization and decriminalization.

When something is decriminalized, it does not mean it is legal. This just makes penalties for possession less severe. Most times, this means you will get a fine but won’t be arrested for consuming a decriminalized substance, no matter how many offenses you have.

Decriminalization does not make sales legal. Commercializing something that is not entirely legal will end up in harsher penalties.

Legalization is what makes something fully legal. This abolishes any penalties for the sale and consumption of the substance.

This also means that the state puts regulations and stipulations around selling the substance. These regulations often concern the age someone has to be to buy and the maximum amount you can get.

Aerial view of the scenic Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. This popular tourist attraction is situated in County Clare along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Moher Cliffs, Ireland

Key Takeaways: What’s The Future of Psychedelics in Ireland?

Even though there’s hope for mushrooms and other psychedelics being approved for medical use in Ireland — the laws here remain strict. Cannabis and ketamine are available by prescription only, and most psychedelics are considered strictly illegal under the Schedule I status. This status suggests these compounds have no viable medical value — which doesn’t align with what the scientific data suggests. 

It’s very likely that Ireland will move to decriminalize or legalize certain psychedelics for medical use in the future — but this could take anywhere from 1 to 10 years to manifest.