A Look At New York’s Current Psychedelic Drug Laws (& What Might Change)

Will psilocybin be decriminalized? 

Phil Dubley Last Updated: September 21, 2022 Print

New York recently decriminalized marijuana, although most other psychoactive plants and compounds remain illegal. 

However, NY is known for having milder penalties than most other US states. Possessing any controlled substances could lead to a year in prison and a $1000 fine.

This article will summarize New York’s psychedelic drug laws and explore what changes may be right around the corner. 

We’ll also discuss psilocybin’s therapeutic benefits and which magic mushroom species can be found growing around New York state.

Summary of Psychedelic Drug Laws in New York

  • Most psychedelics carry up to a year in prison and a $1000 fine.
  • Buying mushroom spores is legal here in New York — germinating them is illegal.
  • Both recreational and medicinal marijuana are legal in New York.
  • Ketamine is currently legal for medical use. 

Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in New York?

No, psychedelic mushrooms are illegal in New York.

Psilocybin, the primary compound in shrooms, classifies as a Schedule I substance in New York. This means that possessing magic mushrooms may cost you up to a year in jail and/or a fine of $1000.

Magic mushrooms have therapeutic benefits, although these are mostly unrecognized by conventional medicine. However, some experts recommend reclassifying psilocybin to take advantage of these medicinal uses.

New York is considering decriminalizing shrooms through Assembly Bill A6065, so keep an eye on how this plays out.

Decriminalization Status of Magic Mushrooms in the United States

WA MT ND MN SD WY ID OR NV CA AZ NM PR GU AK CO KS OK TX LA AR MO IA WI MI IL IN OH KY TN MS AL GA FL SC NC WV VA PA NY VT NH RI CT MA NJ DE MD ME UT NE DC HI
Legalization Status

Where to Buy Magic Mushroom Spores in New York

Surprisingly, magic mushroom spores are legal in New York (and most other states). It’s legal to order spores online and have them delivered. It only becomes illegal when the spores are germinated to grow magic mushrooms.

Check out spore vendors such as Spores 101 or Sporeslab — both of which ship to New York (legally).

Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild in New York?

Yes, you can find psychedelic mushrooms growing throughout New York state.

Magic mushrooms species grow worldwide. Unfortunately, there are many poisonous species that are difficult to differentiate from magic shrooms. 

It’s also important to note that it’s illegal to harvest wild psychedelic mushrooms in the state of New York.

Some of the most common magic mushrooms you’ll find in New York include: 

  1. Psylocibe caerulipes mushrooms are notoriously hard to find, so if you find a place where they grow, make sure to come back every year. You can recognize them easily due to the blue base of their stem.
  2. Psilocybe cyanescensThis species loves places with lots of decaying wood, such as the sides of trails. They are easy to identify, thanks to their wavy appearance. However, we recommend taking a small dose first, as they’re highly psychoactive.
  3. Psilocybe weilii — You can search for psilocybe weilii near coniferous forests or in places with lots of red clay on the soil. Plus, this species carries a high concentration of tryptophan, an amino acid related to serotonin.

What Are the Medicinal Uses of Shrooms?

Lately, research about the medicinal uses of psilocybin has been more active than ever. Although early experiments date back to the sixties, study permits were hard-to-get due to the war on drugs.

In the year 2000, psychedelic research was finally resumed under new legislation introduced by the Obama administration that permitted research institutions to obtain psychedelics for research purposes. 

Here are some of the focal points for magic mushroom research:

Is LSD Legal in New York?

No, LSD (Acid) and related lysergamides are illegal in New York.

Acid is classified as a Schedule I restricted substance and therefore carries the same penalties as psilocybin, MDMA, and cocaine. Possessing any amount of LSD may cost you a year in prison and a hefty fine.

Sadly, these restrictive laws significantly slow down research regarding medicinal LSD. Like most other psychedelics, acid has dozens of therapeutic value in the treatment of mental health disorders. 

Is DMT Legal in New York?

No, all forms of DMT (dimethyltryptamine) are banned in New York.

DMT is a naturally-occurring compound responsible for producing profound psychedelic experiences. It’s the primary ingredient in the shamanic plant mixture known as ayahuasca, as well as changa and the venom of the Sonoran desert toad

DMT can also be vaped or smoked in pure form.

Carrying DMT in New York may cost you a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Is MDMA Legal in New York?

No, MDMA (ecstasy) is illegal in New York.

Ecstasy has shown excellent potential as a therapeutic tool for treating a wide range of mental health disorders — including PTSD, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addiction, and more. 

This has led many lawmakers to rethink drug laws to allow them as a last-resort treatment. In fact, MDMA therapy may become legal for clinical use by the end of 2022. 

Possessing MDMA in New York carries the same penalties as LSD and magic mushrooms. Therefore, if police find ecstasy on you, it may cost you up to a year in prison and a $1000 fine.

Is Ketamine Legal in New York?

Yes, ketamine is legal for medicinal use in New York but remains illegal for recreational or nonmedical use. 

Ketamine is used as an analgesic and sedative in surgical practice and for managing treatment-resistant depression. 

Possessing ketamine without explicit authorization carries up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Those caught with more than 1 gram of pure ketamine could fit the criteria for even more severe punishments.

Is Marijuana Legal in New York?

Yes, marijuana is legal for both medicinal and recreational use in New York. Delta 8 and delta 10 THC are currently illegal, however. 

Recreational marijuana is legal in quantities up to three ounces. Lawmakers passed this law in March 2021 after dozens of failed attempts to legalize it. 

Under federal law, hemp-derived delta 8 THC and delta 10 THC are legal throughout the US. This change began with the updated 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp and its derivatives. 

However, New York recently banned both delta 8 and delta 10 within its jurisdiction.

Regarding medicinal marijuana, you can only get access to it through licensed medics. You can find all the relevant information on the New York State Medical Marijuana Program’s official website.

What’s the Difference Between Legalization & Decriminalization?

While they sound pretty similar, legalization and decriminalization are two different concepts. It’s vital to understand the distinction, as many states and countries are currently taking a stance on the topic. So here we give you a brief description of each one.

Decriminalization abolishes or significantly reduces penalties regarding the substance. However, selling it is still illegal and often carries severe prison sentences. Although it may not sound like much, this greatly aids in helping addicts and reducing drug-related violence.

On the other hand, legalization removes all penalties related to the drug and permits its sale and commercialization.

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

New York is a progressive state regarding drug laws, although there is still a lot of work to be done. Nevertheless, legalizing recreational marijuana was a significant step forward.

Concerning psychedelics, the most likely to change is the legalization of MDMA for medicinal use (a federal change coming just around the corner), followed by the decriminalization of natural psychedelics like psilocybin (speculation).