Is Tennessee Any Closer to Changing its Psychedelic Drug Laws?

You won’t be able to use psychedelics for depression any time soon, even if you lost your wife, truck, dog, and job 🎶 

By Phil Dubley Fact-Checked By Tripsitter Legal Team · Last Updated: December 08, 2023
Last Updated: December 08, 2023

We all know marijuana legalization is spreading like wildfire, but other drugs — including psychedelics — might get their turn, too. 

Why this sudden interest in legalizing these controlled substances? 

Ongoing studies and decades of research are proving that many of these drugs are not just safe (in a clinical setting) but helpful. In fact, more helpful — and safer — than current prescription drugs. 

Where does Tennessee stand in this drug reform mess? Here’s an in-depth look at Tennessee’s laws concerning shrooms and other psychedelics.

Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in Tennessee?

Magic mushrooms are not legal in Tennessee. 

They’re classified as a Schedule I drug in Tennessee, but possessing them is a misdemeanor. If you’re charged with possession or casual exchange, you’ll face Class A misdemeanor penalties for possession of most controlled substances. This means you may serve up to one year in jail or fines up to $2,500.

Magic Mushroom Decriminalization in the United States

Are Magic Mushroom Spores Legal in Tennessee?

Possessing magic mushroom spores is legal in Tennessee because they don’t contain psilocybin until they are grown. Growing spores into shrooms, however, is not legal.

A few of the best sources for magic mushroom spores in Tennessee include Spores 101 and Spores Lab

Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild in Tennessee?

Yes, magic mushrooms are surprisingly easy to find in the state of Tennessee. 

There are many species of magic mushrooms that can be found throughout the state — especially around wooded parks, nature reserves, or near pastures. 

These species tend to grow best during the spring and fall seasons after a few days of heavy rain. 

Some of the species you can find include:

  • Panaeolus cinctulus 
  • Panaeolus cyanescens
  • Panaeolus fimicola 
  • Pluteus albostipitatus
  • Psilocybe cubensis 
  • Psilocybe caerulipes
  • Psilocybe ovoideocystidiata 
  • Gymnopilus aeruginosus
  • Gymnopilus luteofolius 
  • Gymnopilus luteus 
  • Inocybe insignis 

What Are the Medicinal Uses of Shrooms?

Research shows that magic mushrooms have a lot of potential benefits, from treating depression to boosting creativity and improving our problem-solving skills.

Consequently, there is a big push to legalize magic mushrooms in Europe and North America.

Here are the main medicinal uses of magic mushrooms:

Is LSD Legal in Tennessee?

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is considered a Schedule I restricted substance — which makes it illegal in Tennessee and the other 49 states. 

Possession results in up to a year in jail or up to $2,500 in fines.

After the USA’s criminalization of LSD in 1966, clinical research stopped, and LSD sat on the back burner for decades. Now, emerging research is changing the perception of LSD. For example, there is evidence that microdosing can help people with anxiety and depression [7].

MDMA Laws in Tennessee

MDMA (ecstasy) is classified as a Schedule I illegal substance in Tennessee

If you’re caught possessing or exchanging the drug, it is considered a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor comes with up to a year in jail, with a maximum of a $2,500 fine. 

MDMA could be transitioning from a party drug to legal medicine, effective for anxiety and depression, among other mental illnesses [8].

Is DMT Legal in Tennessee? 

DMT (dimethyltryptamine) is illegal as well in Tennessee. 

The penalties for possessing DMT are up to $2,500 in fines or up to one year in jail.

That said, it is encouraging to know that research shows the therapeutic benefits of DMT in disorders such as depression, substance abuse, and PTSD [9]. 

Related: Ultimate Guide to DMT Vape Pens.

Is Ketamine Legal in Tennessee?

Ketamine, unlike the others, is a Schedule III drug, meaning the stats recognizes its therapeutic uses. 

Penalties remain the same as the others — up to a year in jail or up to $2,500 in fines.

Today ketamine is used to treat some mental illnesses and even substance abuse [10].

What’s the Difference Between Legalization & Decriminalization?

There’s a significant difference between legalizing and decriminalizing a substance.

Legalizing a drug means removing all prohibitions and making it permissible without fear of legal repercussions. Unlike legalization, decriminalization removes vulnerability to arrest and prosecution for a still-illegal offense. 

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

Some states are closer than others to decriminalizing these substances. While Tennessee appears to be moving towards decriminalization and legalization of certain psychedelic compounds, we’re still likely a few years away from any significant changes. 

Currently, possession of psychedelics can result in a misdemeanor charge. These charges are serious but are a far cry from the felony charges handed out for the same thing in most other US states. 


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