The Slow Progress of Psychedelic Drug Laws in Maryland

Crabs and mushrooms are a match made in heaven — just stay away from the psychedelic varieties for now. 🦀🍄 Here’s the current state of psychedelic decriminalization in Maryland. 

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

Maryland laws are strict regarding psychedelic drugs, but a door opened for studying the effectiveness of psychedelics on veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). On July 1, 2022, the David Perez Military Heroes Act (End 22 a Day) became effective, allowing funding for alternative treatments like psilocybin, ketamine, and MDMA.

LSD, MDMA, ketamine, and psilocybin are prohibited, and possessing them can lead to fines and conviction. However, spores and other natural psychoactive herbs remain legal.

This article will detail all the facts you need to know to stay on top of the latest regulations.

We’ll also explore some of the medicinal benefits of psilocybin that are leading the charge in decriminalizing psychedelics around the country.

Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in Maryland?

No, psychedelic mushrooms are illegal in the state of Maryland.

Under Criminal Law 5-402, both psilocin and psilocybin are classified as Schedule I substances. This is the same as federal law.

This means state authorities consider magic mushrooms to have a high potential for addiction and no potential for medical use, an idea that has recently become obsolete. Researchers at John Hopkins Medicine are calling out for a reclassification of psilocybin.

If you’re caught with magic mushrooms in Maryland, the penalty can reach up to $5000, 1 year in prison, or both. Much of the severity of this punishment will depend on your criminal history and the amount you’re found with.

Magic mushroom spores are legal in Maryland as they do not contain psilocybin.

Map of Mushroom Laws in the US

Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild in Maryland?

Yes, you can find magic mushrooms in Maryland.

Here are some of the most common shroom species you can look for in the old line state:

  1. Psilocybe weilii — named after a doctor known for his publications about magic mushrooms, this species grows in the coniferous forests of North America.
  2. Psilocybe cyanescens these fungi grow in areas with plenty of decaying wood, such as forests, gardens, and trails.
  3. Psilocybe baeocystis you can find them in temperate forests, but be careful as they are similar to poisonous mushrooms.

What Are the Medicinal Uses of Shrooms?

The idea that magic mushrooms have no medicinal uses is now outdated. Recent studies prove that psilocybin can help with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addiction, and existential anxiety.

Microdoses of magic mushrooms have also been shown to help with cluster headaches, problem-solving, and creativity.

This new wave of research has opened the debate on the legalization of mushrooms, especially in North America and Europe.

Is LSD Legal in Maryland?

Maryland law treats LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) the same as magic mushrooms, making it completely illegal.

Specifically, Criminal Law 5-402 and its subsequent sections establish that possessing LSD can cost you up to a year in prison or a $5000 fine.

In addition, any compounds derived from or related to Schedule I substances, such as LSD, are also banned. Therefore, 1P-LSD and other similar lysergamide analogs are strictly prohibited.

Is MDMA Legal in Maryland?

No. MDMA (ecstasy) is illegal in Maryland. But it may become legal for clinical use soon.

Although the debate for legalization has been opened, Maryland has not yet announced any changes in its laws. In the future, the legalization of MDMA could lead to its more widespread use in therapeutic medical cases.

Possessing MDMA in Maryland can carry a one-year sentence or a $5,000 fine. In addition, since it is a Schedule I substance, any derivative or analog substances are also prohibited.

Is Ketamine Legal in Maryland?

No. Ketamine is illegal in Maryland.

Because of its known uses in both medical and veterinary medicine, ketamine is classified as a Schedule III substance in Maryland.

While it is still banned, it is possible to possess it legally if you are authorized for a medical reason.

However, if you are not authorized to possess ketamine and are caught with it, you can face penalties of up to a year in prison and $5000. Yet, this may change in the future, as some states have begun to legalize ketamine therapy for depression and PTSD.

Legal Psychoactive Substances in Maryland

While Maryland’s drug laws are harsh, there are certain substances that you can still get legally. For example, because they are not well known, kava and morning glory are legal there.

Delta 8 THC and delta 10 THC are also allowed, thanks to federal regulations put in place via the 2018 Farm Bill.

You will even see kratom capsules in many tobacco stores, as it is also a legal substance in Maryland.

Related: List of Legal Psychoactive Substances Around the World.

What’s the Difference Between Legalization & Decriminalization?

While these two words seem to indicate the same thing, there is a big difference between legalizing and decriminalizing a substance.

When a substance is legalized, it means that its recreational use is allowed but regulated. The best example of this is marijuana in states that allow recreational use. Citizens can buy marijuana, but there are still numerous regulations regarding how these products are marketed and who can buy and sell them.

Decriminalization usually only involves reducing drug-related convictions. While this is an intermediate step, it doesn’t mean these substances are legal to buy or sell.

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

The United States is slowly opening the debate on the legalization of certain psychedelic substances, such as MDMA, for medicinal use. Some states have even decriminalized these drugs as an initial step. Such is the case of Oregon, which decriminalized all drugs in early 2021.

However, Maryland’s laws are among the most conservative on this topic. This state is likely to be one of the last states to legalize or decriminalize psychedelics of any kind.

We don’t expect any changes to happen here until the next breakthrough at the federal level.