North Macedonia’s Psychedelic Drug Laws: What’s New?

Personal use is decriminalized, but the laws can be vague. Be sure you know what you’re getting into.

By Tripsitter Last Updated: January 25, 2023
Last Updated: January 25, 2023
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North Macedonia doesn’t have the most punitive drug laws, but the country’s drug legislation contains a lot of undefined areas.

The use of small amounts of narcotics and psychotropic substances for personal use is decriminalized and punishable by a fine of €100-250.

This article explores the legal status of the most common psychedelics in North Macedonia. You’ll find information on the most common species of magic mushrooms that grow wild on the country’s soil.

Summary of Psychedelic Drug Laws In North Macedonia

  • Psychedelics are illegal in North Macedonia. The state classifies psilocybin as a Schedule I substance per international conventions and standards.
  • North Macedonia has decriminalized small quantities of drugs for personal use, but giving drugs to another person is punishable with one to five years in prison. 
  • A person caught in possession of large amounts of narcotics and psychotropics can be punished with three to ten years in prison.
  • North Macedonia’s mountain forests grow a range of wild hallucinogenic mushrooms, including a couple of psilocybe species.
  • Marijuana is legal for medical purposes but illegal for recreational purposes.
PsychedelicLegal StatusPunishment
Magic MushroomsProhibitedPersonal use of a small amount of magic mushrooms is charged with a fine of 100-250.
LSDProhibitedPersonal use of a small amount of LSD is charged with a fine of 100-250.
DMTProhibitedPersonal use of a small amount of DMT is charged with a fine of 100-250.
MDMAProhibitedPersonal use of a small amount of MDMA is charged with a fine of 100-250.
KetamineLegal for medicinal useThe only authorized use of ketamine is as an anesthetic and for other medical needs.
MarijuanaLegal for medicinal useLegal for medicinal uses with a prescription, illegal for recreational use.

Are Magic Mushrooms Legal In North Macedonia?

No, magic mushrooms are illegal in North Macedonia.

According to the North Macedonian List of Classified Substances issued by the Ministry of Health, psilocybin is a Schedule I substance. Psilocybin is the main naturally occurring hallucinogenic and psychoactive chemical in magic mushrooms. 

In North Macedonia, getting caught enjoying a small amount of narcotics or psychotropic substances is not punishable as a crime but an infraction.

This means that the country’s law decriminalizes the personal use of drugs in tiny quantities, which has yet to be defined.

According to Article 20 of the North Macedonian Law on Offences Against Public Order and Peace, “a person who enjoys narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors, will be fined anywhere from 100 to 250 in denar equivalent.” (see picture below, red)

The law doesn’t go into detail about if the quantity or kind of drug affects the severity of the fine. However, this is likely defined by the court.

In 2021, the North Macedonian Government proposed a draft law allowing the exportation of cannabis flower for medical purposes and expanding the definition of hemp and marijuana. A year later, the North Macedonian Parliament withdrew the draft law, so no new provisions were adopted in the country. 

Pic. 1: Personal use of small quantities of narcotics and psychotropic substances is decriminalized and a fine-only offense.

Article 215 of the North Macedonian Criminal Code prohibits the unauthorized production, sale, and distribution of narcotic substances and punishes it with three to ten years in prison. If the quantity of the psychotropic substance or narcotics is lower, the punishment is six months to three years in jail.

According to Article 216 of the North Macedonian Criminal Code, enabling a person to enjoy narcotics or giving narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to another person is punishable with one to five years in prison

Psilocybin is an illegal substance in most corners of the world, but researchers have found that there’s more to it than its hallucinogenic properties. According to John Hopkins Medicine, psilocybin should be reclassified from Schedule I to Schedule IV substance due to its medicinal value and low potential for abuse.

Where to Buy Magic Mushroom Spores in North Macedonia

Growing magic mushrooms from spores is illegal in North Macedonia.

Although acquiring spores is not an illegal activity because spores don’t contain any psilocybin, allowing them to germinate and growing them in your home is not permitted. Article 215 of the North Macedonian Criminal Code charges people who produce, grow or sell psychotropic drugs with up to ten years of prison. Using paraphernalia and materials needed to make a drug is also punishable as a crime. 

Unless acquired through foraging, magic mushroom spores can be only found on the black market in North Macedonia. You might be able to order spores online from another country, but it’s best to avoid any of these activities because they’re unlawful.

Pic. 2: Article 215 of the Macedonian Criminal Code punishes the unauthorized production, cultivation, distribution, and sale of psychotic substances with three to ten years of prison.  

Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild In North Macedonia?

Yes, scientists have discovered more than a dozen hallucinogenic and psychoactive mushrooms that grow wild on Macedonian soil. 

In the report Hallucinogenic Fungi in the Republic of Macedonia, biologists Karadelev and Spasikova note that the country is home to 1,250 species of fungi [1].

Out of these, the authors recognized 16 species as hallucinogenic. This is debatable because the authors of the study have listed a few non-hallucinogenic psilocybin species as hallucinogenic, including P. montana, P. coprophila, and P. muscorum.

The two most common magic mushrooms found on North Macedonian soil are Mycena pura and Amanita muscaria, while Psilocybe, Panaeolus, Gymnopilus, and Elaphomyces are much less frequent [1]. 

Hallucinogenic & Psychoactive Fungi Registered In North Macedonia

NameLocationHabitatGrowing Period
Amanita muscariaOsogovo Mt.: Ponikva (1500-1600 m altitude), Kozuf Mt.: Smrdliva voda (1000 m altitude), Konjari, KrushevoGrows on soil in deciduous and coniferous forests (Calamintho grandiflorae-Fagetum)July to October
Gymnopilus spectabilisNational Park Mavrovo: BunecGrows on stumps and logs of Fagus (Calamintho grandiflorae-Fagetum)September
Mycena puraNational Park Pelister: near Mala Korija, around Mt. house Kopanki, Kozuf Mt: Kojnari (Faus and Pinus nigra), Kitka Mt.: Peslap, Vodno Mt.  Grows on soil in deciduous and coniferous forests (Digita li viridiflorae – Pinetum peuces with Fagus)July to October
Panaeolus papilionaceusVodno Mt., (950m a.), National Park Pelister: around KopankiGrows on enriched soil (Digitali viridiflorae – Pinetum peuces)June to November
Panaeolus semiovatusNational Park Pelister: around KopankiGrows in meadow and on dungAny time of the year
Pluteus salicinus  Ograzden Mt.: Ezovo Brdo (1100-1300), National Park Galicica: Pljuska, Jakupica Mt.: CeplesGrows in mixed forest of Fagus Pinus sylvestris and Pinus nigra, on rotten branches of Fagus, and on enriched soilEarly summer to late autumn
Psilocybe bullaceaNational Park Pelister: v. Rotino and v. Trnovo, Prespa: Strict Nature Reserve “Ezerani”Grows on fallen branches of Pinus peuce, in meadows, and on leaves remnants of Populus tremulaApril to September

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that some mushrooms are eaten only once! Unless you have extensive experience with them, we don’t recommend going foraging for psychedelic mushrooms because they share similarities with poisonous mushroom species. 

Is LSD Legal In North Macedonia?

No, LSD is illegal in North Macedonia.

This substance is a Schedule I substance under the country’s List of Psychotropic Substances that’s in accordance with international conventions, including the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971.

Enjoying this substance in small quantities for personal use is punishable by a 100 to 250 euro fine. The unauthorized production, distribution, and possession of large amounts of LSD could lead to anywhere from three to ten years in prison, while small quantities are punishable with six months to three years.

LSD is another psychedelic with therapeutic potential for treating mental health disorders like PTSD and depression. Used for centuries by scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs, microdosing LSD is a practice that could allegedly improve creativity, focus, and productivity. 

Is DMT Legal In North Macedonia?

DMT (dimethyltryptamine) is an illegal substance in North Macedonia.

DMT is a Schedule I substance under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. North Macedonia’s law is in tune with this convention, making DMT a prohibited drug in the country.

An active component of ayahuasca, DMT is one of the most potent natural psychoactive compounds. The brain produces small concentrations of DMT, which activates the serotonin receptors and is thought to produce the dream state during sleep.

DMT is not psychoactive on its own and needs to be paired with an MAO inhibitor to produce psychoactive effects. 

Ayahuasca and its smokable form, changa, are also prohibited in North Macedonia. 

Pic. 3: List of Schedule I psychotropic substances in North Macedonia.

Is MDMA Legal In North Macedonia?

No, MDMA is illegal in North Macedonia.

The beneficial uses of microdosing narcotics and psychedelics are being explored by science, so some countries have decided to legalize their medicinal use. MDMA is effective for treating mental health conditions like PTSD and anxiety, which is why Canada decided to legalize MDMA psychedelic-assisted therapy.

With that said, MDMA is a potent psychedelic and won’t be legal for public use in the foreseeable future. It’s also a Schedule I substance under the North Macedonian Criminal Code. Personal use of small amounts of MDMA is punished with a fine, but possession and distribution of large quantities can lead to up to 10 years in prison. 

Is Ketamine Legal In North Macedonia?

Ketamine is not a scheduled substance under North Macedonian law and international conventions.

But, the only authorized use of this drug in the country is strictly by medical professionals and veterinarians as an anesthetic under the name Ketax

North Macedonia hasn’t legalized the use of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression and PTSD. With that said, doctors are allowed to prescribe Schedule II and III drugs (like THC) as medicine under the recommendation of a specialist. Possession and use of this drug by non-licensed users and outside of a healthcare organization is punishable by law.

Is Marijuana Legal In North Macedonia?

No, marijuana is not legal in North Macedonia.

Recreational use of marijuana is prohibited in North Macedonia under the Law on Control of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

The law prohibits the production and use of narcotics and psychotropic substances and has accepted the drug classification provided by international conventions, including the Single Convention of Narcotic Drugs, 1961, and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971.

Тhe country expanded its cannabis laws in 2016, allowing the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and research purposes.

In North Macedonia, the manufacture, sale, possession, and use of cannabis, cannabis resin, extract, and tincture of cannabis is legal only for medical purposes. It can be prescribed for conditions such as HIV, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy.

The country prohibits the growth, production, and possession of narcotics and psychotropic substances unless their handling is in accordance with the provisions of the law. Only licensed businesses can grow cannabis for medical purposes, and products containing THC can be prescribed to patients by medical professionals.

Pic. 4: Medicine containing THC can be prescribed by medical professionals under the recommendation of a specialist (neurologist, oncologist, radiologist) — and per a prescription format set by the Minister of Health.

Hemp Laws In North Macedonia

Hemp and hemp-derived products containing 0.2% THC are legal in North Macedonia and can be bought from a pharmacy without a prescription. Hemp-derived products containing non-intoxicating cannabinoids, like CBG, CBD, and CBN, are also legal to buy without a prescription.

THC’s isomers, including delta-7, delta-8, and delta-10 THC, are considered Schedule I controlled substances under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971) and Macedonian law.

The law defines “hemp” as all above-ground fresh or dry parts of the plant, except for the seed from different parts of the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis).

Another term defined in the bill is “hempseed oil.” Hempseed oil is a fatty oil, refined or unrefined, obtained through cold or another type of extraction of seeds belonging to various species of the genus Cannabis and in itself, it doesn’t contain over 10 mg/kg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and has a primary use in cosmetics and hygiene products, lubricants, dyes, or as a food. 

The law also defines “cannabis/hemp oil” as a liquid resinous extract obtained through extraction of oleoresin of above-ground parts (except the seed) of plants that belong to different varieties of the Cannabis species and has a high concentration of cannabinoids, especially tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Pic 5: Definition of hemp, hempseed oil, and cannabis/hemp oil in North Macedonian law (in that order).

What’s the Difference Between Legalization & Decriminalization?

An excellent way to explain the difference between legalization and decriminalization is through an example.

Let’s look at North Macedonia.

North Macedonia’s legislation decriminalizes personal use of small amounts of narcotics or psychotropic substances. According to the country’s Law on Offenses Against Public Order and Peace, personal use of small amounts of narcotic and psychoactive substances is charged with a fine of 100-250.

Does this make these drugs legal in North Macedonia? 

Absolutely not.

Anyone caught manufacturing, distributing, and selling drugs is charged with a felony and could serve up to 10 years in prison. Also, people who buy drugs decriminalized buy them illegally from the black market.

Decriminalizing a drug reduces the severity of the punishment but doesn’t remove all penalties nor allow for a safe way to purchase the drug.

Had they been legalized, drug distribution, manufacture, and sale would have been allowed as a part of the economic landscape.

Key Takeaways: What’s the Future of Psychedelics In North Macedonia?

After the legalization of medical marijuana and hemp oil in 2016, there’s been a push toward legalizing recreational marijuana in the country. Although this failed, it’s important to note that North Macedonia’s Criminal Code doesn’t punish the personal use of small amounts of psychedelics.

So, there’s hope that the country might consider legalizing psychedelics for medicinal use as well.

Yet, this doesn’t mean drugs are legal in North Macedonia. While you can find magic mushrooms growing wild on Macedonian soil, we don’t recommend you go foraging due to their similarity with poisonous species.


References

  1. Karadelev M. & Spasikova S.. (2004). Hallucinogenic fungi in the Republic of Macedonia. Proceedings of the 2nd Congress of Ecologists of the Republic of Macedonia with International Participation, Ohrid. Special issues of Macedonian Ecological Society, Vol. 6, Skopje.