North Dakota & Psychedelics: A Quick Look At the Laws (2023)
North Dakota might be lightening their stance on weed; will that open the door for psychedelics? 🔑
If you’re living in North Dakota, it’s going to be hard to obtain magic mushrooms legally.
State regulators are notoriously strict in regulating psychedelics, both plant-based and synthetic.
Here, we’ll cover the current laws covering magic mushrooms, LSD, ketamine, MDMA, DMT, and other common psychedelics in North Dakota.
Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in North Dakota?
No. Magic mushrooms are banned in North Dakota.
The active ingredient in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, has been classified as a Schedule I drug since Congress passed the Controlled Substance Act in 1971.
According to North Dakota’s Controlled Substances Act, possessing, growing, or selling these mushrooms is illegal.
However, there’s a growing trend toward the decriminalization of natural psychedelics. In addition, there are grassroots movements and even renowned universities such as John Hopkins Medicine that advocate the reclassification of these substances, given their low probability of abuse and clear therapeutic value.
However, mushroom spores are legal at the federal level, except for California, Idaho, and Georgia. Therefore, amateur mycologists can buy them legally in North Dakota.
As soon as magic mushroom spores are germinated or cultivated, they become illegal.
Map of Magic Mushroom Decriminalization Laws in the United States
Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild in North Dakota?
Yes, several species of magic mushrooms can be found growing in the state of North Dakota.
In North Dakota, you can find some species, such as Gymnopilus validipes, which grows on logs and other woody areas, and Panaeolus cinctulus in compost or pastures.
What Are the Medicinal Uses of Shrooms?
There are various ways in which magic mushrooms can help people suffering from diverse conditions. Following up, we’ll go through the most common medicinal uses of magic mushrooms in therapy.
Psilocybin For Depression
Studies indicate that with two doses of psilocybin and appropriate psychological treatment, a large percentage of adults with severe depression reported a dramatic decrease in symptoms, and some patients even achieved full remission of symptoms .
Learn more about using psychedelics for depression.
Psilocybin For Post Traumatic Stress
Some evidence from animal studies suggests that psilocybin may stimulate the growth of nerve cells in parts of the brain responsible for emotion and memory. This supports the hypothesis that psilocybin may help to disrupt the traumatic cycle that occurs in PTSD patients .
In the study, mice given low doses of psilocybin outperformed fear conditioning much better than mice given a placebo.
Learn more about using psychedelics for healing trauma.
Psilocybin For Existential Anxiety (Terminal Illness)
After a small double-blind study, researchers report that a significant number of people suffering from existential anxiety or cancer-related depression found considerable relief for up to six months with a single large dose of psilocybin .
Learn more about using magic mushrooms in palliative care.
Psilocybin For Cluster Headaches
Cluster headaches are excruciating and debilitating migraine that can be resistant to conventional medical treatments.
Some studies indicate the effectiveness of psilocybin as a last-resort treatment for patients with cluster headaches .
Is LSD Legal in North Dakota?
No. LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a Schedule I substance according to North Dakota Century Code.
This makes it illegal to use, produce, and sell, and the law doesn’t stipulate any medicinal benefits.
Possessing LSD is a class C felony, leading to penalties of up to 5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Is MDMA Legal in North Dakota?
No. MDMA (ecstasy) is currently listed as a Schedule I substance in North Dakota.
However, MDMA may become legal across the entire United States for use in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. The FDA is currently reviewing an application submitted by The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).
Recreational use of MDMA will likely remain illegal in North Dakota for the foreseeable future.
Possessing MDMA can lead to fines of up to $5,000 and extended jail time.
Is Ketamine Legal in North Dakota?
Ketamine is legal for medicinal use in North Dakota, and ketamine-assisted therapists are available in the state.
That said, the recreational use of ketamine is illegal in North Dakota, and it’s punishable with 360 days’ imprisonment and up to a $3,000 fine.
Is DMT Legal in North Dakota?
DMT (dimethyltryptamine), the active ingredient in ayahuasca, is illegal in North Dakota, and it’s also included in the Schedule I category.
Penalties for possessing this substance include up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Related: List of Plants that Contain DMT.
What’s the Difference Between Legalization & Decriminalization?
Legalization and decriminalization are not the same; here’s what makes them different.
Decriminalization implies that the penalties for possessing a specific substance are drastically reduced, although not removed. If psychedelics are decriminalized in North Dakota, it will simply mean those caught in possession won’t wind up in jail for a single offense. However, you still won’t be able to buy or sell it legally.
On the other hand, legalization eliminates fines and penalties and provides a legal environment for commercialization. If psychedelics are legalized, you’ll be able to buy and sell them within the state. However, restrictions may still apply — such as maximum possession quantities, age restrictions, and more.
Key Takeaways: What’s the Future of Psychedelics in North Dakota?
North Dakota isn’t the most progressive state regarding drug laws. Unfortunately, we don’t see the current state regulations on psychedelics changing anytime soon.
However, the authorities will soon bring up the psychedelic topic to the discussion at a federal level. When that happens, even the most conservative states will need to rethink their drug policies.
- Psychedelic Treatment with Psilocybin Relieves Major Depression, Study Shows https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/psychedelic-treatment-with-psilocybin-relieves-major-depression-study-shows/ Accessed: 2021-12-03
- DeLotto Baier, A. Low doses of psychedelic drug erases conditioned fear in mice – USF Health NewsUSF Health News https://hscweb3.hsc.usf.edu/blog/2013/07/15/low-doses-of-psychedelic-drug-erases-conditioned-fear-in-mice/ Accessed: 2021-12-03
- Griffiths, R. R., Johnson, M. W., Carducci, M. A., Umbricht, A., Richards, W. A., Richards, B. D., … & Klinedinst, M. A. (2016). Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized double-blind trial. Journal of psychopharmacology, 30(12), 1181-1197.
- Andersson, M., Persson, M., & Kjellgren, A. (2017). Psychoactive substances as a last resort—a qualitative study of self-treatment of migraine and cluster headaches. Harm reduction journal, 14(1), 1-10.