Psychedelic Drug Laws in Arizona: Will Change Happen Soon?

This desert state is home to large stands of psychedelic cacti 🌵 — but they’re only legal for religious use. 

By Phil Dubley Fact-Checked By Tripsitter Legal Team · Last Updated: December 07, 2023
Last Updated: December 07, 2023

Arizona has taken a strict stance against all psychedelic substances. Magic mushroom possession constitutes a felony offense despite a clear lack of evidence that it’s dangerous or addictive.

Here, we’ll explore the legality of various psychedelics in the state of Arizona, including psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, ketamine, and more.

Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in Arizona?

Magic mushrooms are illegal in Arizona. This is one of the most widely used psychedelic substances for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Arizona lawmakers included psilocybin in the Arizona Revised Statutes Title 13. Criminal Code § 13-3401 bans its use for any reason.

The revised statute treats psilocybin as a dangerous substance. This means it puts it in the same category as methamphetamine and heroin. The legal consequences are also just as severe.

Simple possession of magic mushrooms in Arizona is a Class 4 Felony, which carries up to four years in prison for simple possession. In addition, certain aggravating factors such as intent to sell can significantly extend the penalties.

On the other side, possessing magic mushroom spores is not against the law, however, cultivating them is considered an illegal practice.

Related: Where are magic mushrooms legal?

Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild in Arizona?

Magic mushrooms grow naturally in various parts of Arizona.

The most common species of magic mushrooms in Arizona is Psilocybe aztecorum. These mushrooms change the color of their cap depending on hydration, ranging from dark brown to light yellow.

It’s illegal to harvest and dry magic mushroom species in the state of Arizona. Only the spore prints are legal because they contain no psilocybin.

What Are the Medicinal Uses of Shrooms?

Psilocybin has a wide variety of potential therapeutic benefits, mainly in psychotherapy. However, science is discovering more and more medicinal effects of magic mushrooms.

Evidence-based psilocybin treatments include:

Is LSD Legal in Arizona?

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is illegal in Arizona.

Like magic mushrooms, possessing acid can result in penalties of up to four years in prison, making it a Class 4 Felony. In addition, those who already have charges on their criminal record will face penalties of up to 15 years in prison.

Is MDMA Legal in Arizona?

MDMA (also known as ecstasy or molly) is illegal in Arizona, and so far, the law does not contemplate any therapeutic use for the substance.

As a result, molly falls into dangerous substances, carrying penalties of up to four years in prison for simple possession.

It is worth noting that several places in the world (including some US states) are already experimenting with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, and the results are promising.

Is Ketamine Legal in Arizona?

Ketamine is also illegal in Arizona, but only for recreational use. Unlike the substances mentioned above, the law does allow for medicinal uses of ketamine. In Arizona, you can find several ketamine treatment centers.

That said, again, recreational use is prohibited and can result in up to four years in prison. In addition, outside of therapeutic settings, ketamine is considered a dangerous (and apparently non-medical) substance by law.

What’s the Difference Between Legalization & Decriminalization

These two terms are similar, but they mean two different things. First, legalizing a prohibited activity means providing a legal context and repealing all kinds of penalties.

On the other hand, a decriminalized substance is not legal — the penalties for use and possession are merely reduced.

This means that you can still get fined for using or carrying a controlled substance, but you’re not going to get a criminal charge as a result. Most of the time, possession of decriminalized substances results in a fine.

Related: Comparing decriminalization vs. legalization.

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

Arizona is not the laxest state regarding psychedelic laws, but it’s not the most rigid either. Not too long ago, the authorities stopped considering marijuana a dangerous substance, and we think this is a step in the right direction.

With that said, Arizona doesn’t appear to have much motivation to change its stance on psychedelics, and there are currently no pro-psychedelics or decriminalization bills moving through the pipeline.