Psychedelic Drug Laws in Maine: Pressure To Decriminalize is Gaining Momentum
Policy reform is slow in Maine, but regulators are inching closer to decriminalization in the Pine Tree State 🌲
Magic mushrooms are a species of fungi containing high amounts of psilocybin, an alkaloid that causes hallucinations and auditory distortions.
This substance is still illegal in Maine, although there have been recent attempts to change the laws.
This article goes over the essentials of psychedelic mushrooms, proposed legislation in Maine, current laws for popular psychedelics, and the benefits they offer.
Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in Maine?
Magic mushrooms are illegal in Maine, for now.
Maine’s laws are similar to most other state laws on magic mushrooms. Psilocybin, the active alkaloid, is illegal, but the legislature is considering a bill to change this.
Possessing and using psilocybin is a Class D crime in Maine, meaning you face up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Senator Donna Bailey presented the Maine Psilocybin Services Act on April 28, 2021. If this bill passes, it would effectively legalize psilocybin for adults 21 or older.
This Act is similar to Measure 109, the bill that legalized shrooms in Oregon, allowing people to get mushrooms from a licensed psilocybin service provider.
Nevertheless, there’s a unique distinction: Maine’s bill doesn’t require a medical diagnosis or prescription to purchase mushrooms. Instead, the only requirement is being at least 21 years old.
Another bill, LD 967, recently sought to decriminalize all drugs, making possession a civil violation, punishable by no more than a $100 fine and no jail time. This bill died between houses in July.
Map of Magic Mushroom Laws In the USA
Are Spores Legal in Maine?
Yes, magic mushroom spores are legal.
Maine has not yet banned citizens from buying or possessing magic mushroom spores because they don’t contain psilocybin, but it is illegal to grow them into mushrooms.
Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild in Maine?
Yes, they do. Magic mushrooms happen to pop up all over the forest in Maine.
There are various forests in Maine to find mushrooms growing wild between late June and early November.
You can find several magic mushroom species, such as Psilocybe caerulipes, Psilocybe semilanceata, and maybe even Psilocybe baeocystis.
What Are the Medicinal Uses of Shrooms?
Laws are rapidly changing because researchers are discovering the fantastic healing properties of mushrooms.
Psilocybin research is expanding more than ever, and several ongoing studies show the many different ways in which mushrooms can be beneficial.
Some of the possible benefits of psilocybin are:
Studies suggest magic mushrooms and other serotonergic psychedelics may help treat depression by modulating glutamatergic, serotonergic, and GABAergic systems, causing antidepressant effects that can last up to a week .
Related: How Psychedelics Can Help With Depression.
Some studies show that psilocybin might be an effective way to help people overcome tobacco and alcohol addiction .
3. Cluster Headaches
Though the research is limited, psilocybin could be an effective treatment for cluster headaches .
4. Anxiety & Existential Crisis
Magic mushrooms can help ease anxiety and feelings of existential crisis, especially in the late stages of life .
Related: How Magic Mushrooms Are Being Used in End-Of-Life Care.
Is LSD Legal in Maine?
No, LSD is not legal in Maine.
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), known as “acid,” is a Schedule W drug and, as such, its possession and use is a Class D misdemeanor.
However, the penalties depend on the amount and if that person has previous drug convictions.
Class D crimes result in up to 364 days in county jail and fines of up to $2,000
Is MDMA Legal in Maine?
No, the possession and use of MDMA are not legal in Maine.
MDMA, or ecstasy, is also considered a Schedule W drug in Maine and carries the same punishment as LSD: 364 days in jail and up to $2000 in fines.
MDMA works as a stimulant and is often used for recreational purposes. However, the idea of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is becoming more popular as research shows the benefits that come from it.
Is Ketamine Legal in Maine?
No, ketamine is not legal in Maine.
Ketamine is also a Schedule X drug, and possession and use is a Class D misdemeanor in Maine. Penalties can be up to $2,000 in fines and 364 days in jail.
Recent research shows that low doses of ketamine provide powerful antidepressant qualities . In addition, it works through entirely different mechanisms than conventional antidepressant medications.
As a result, it’s possible ketamine therapy could help treat resistant depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What’s the Difference Between Legalization & Decriminalization?
When a specific activity gets decriminalized, the penalties are significantly reduced but not removed. On the other hand, legalization removes all penalties while generally providing a regulated context for commercialization.
While the terms seem similar, they mean two different things. It’s essential to recognize the differences between legalization and decriminalization so you can avoid breaking the law.
Key Takeaways: What’s the Future of Psychedelics in Maine?
With the current attempts at decriminalization of all drugs and legalization of psilocybin, it seems likely that Maine will follow in Oregon’s footsteps.
These states, along with others, can help reform drug laws and open up new treatments for many disorders.
- Bottemanne, H., Claret, A., & Fossati, P. (2020). Ketamine, psilocybin, and rapid-acting antidepressant: new promise for psychiatry?. L’encephale.
- Johnson, M. W., & Griffiths, R. R. (2017). Potential therapeutic effects of psilocybin. Neurotherapeutics, 14(3), 734-740.
- Schindler, E. A., Gottschalk, C. H., Weil, M. J., Shapiro, R. E., Wright, D. A., & Sewell, R. A. (2015). Indoleamine hallucinogens in cluster headache: results of the Clusterbusters medication use survey. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 47(5), 372-381.
- Grob, C. S., Danforth, A. L., Chopra, G. S., Hagerty, M., McKay, C. R., Halberstadt, A. L., & Greer, G. R. (2011). Pilot study of psilocybin treatment for anxiety in patients with advanced-stage cancer. Archives of general psychiatry, 68(1), 71-78.