Are Psychedelics Legal in Washington? Here’s a Look At What’s Coming

Washington was the first to legalize recreational marijuana, so how long before it takes the leap with psychedelics?

By Phil Dubley Fact-Checked By Tripsitter Legal Team · Last Updated: January 10, 2024
Last Updated: January 10, 2024

Washington’s drug laws are relatively progressive. This may be obvious to some, as the Evergreen State was the first to legalize recreational marijuana. 

However, getting to know their current laws can prove challenging, as authorities continue to make changes monthly. 

This article will summarize all the laws regulating magic mushrooms, DMT, LSD, MDMA, marijuana, ketamine, and more in the state of Washington. 

Updates for Washington

Summary of Psychedelic Drug Laws in Washington

  • Psychedelics have been decriminalized in Seattle & Port Townsend.
  • Marijuana is legal both for recreational and medicinal use.
  • Delta 8 THC is illegal, but delta 10 is permitted.

Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in Washington?

No, psychedelic mushrooms are illegal in Washington.

Washington laws consider psilocybin, the primary compound in psychedelic shrooms, a Schedule I substance. For this reason, possessing it is deemed to be a simple misdemeanor. The Code of Washington penalizes these crimes with 90 days in prison and a $1000 fine.

Federal law classifies psilocybin the same way due to its supposed addictive potential. However, many experts argue against this and even recommend reclassifying it. If this were to happen, research would become much more accessible.

Like in most states, magic mushroom spores are legal in Washington. You can get them online, although growing them to a mature state is illegal.

Related: Where Are Magic Mushrooms Legal?

Legalization Status

Where to Buy Magic Mushroom Spores in Washington

As we’ve already mentioned, magic mushroom spores are legal in every state, except for California and Georgia. We recommend you buy them online. You can check out vendors like Sporeslab or Spores 101 for a selection of high-quality and fairly priced spore samples. 

Just keep in mind, it’s illegal to germinate these spores in the state of Washington. Spore sales are permitted for microscopy purposes only. 

However, this could change in the near future. Currently, a petition is mounting that could see the cultivation of psychedelic mushrooms for personal use legal in Washington. 

Related: How to Grow Magic Mushrooms (From Start to Finish).

Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild in Washington?

Yes, there are some species native to Washington.

Psychedelic mushrooms grow all over the world. Research shows us that there are at least 180 different species of psilocybin-containing shrooms. Unfortunately, there are also thousands of toxic lookalikes, so we advise caution if you are actively looking for them yourself.

These are three of the most common species in Washington:

1. Psilocybe semilanceata

Semilanceata mushrooms are the second most common species globally, only behind psilocybe cubensis. They have small, bell-shaped caps and thin stems, so you will have to look carefully for them.

2. Psilocybe cyanofibrilosa

You can find these mushrooms in regions with many lupines, such as floodplains or river estuaries. Although their psilocybin content is unclear, it’s vital to use them while they are fresh, as it loses most of the concentration of their active ingredients once they are dry.

3. Psilocybe azurescens

This species is prevalent on the West Coast of North America, but they are tough to cultivate. They are the most potent shrooms that we know of — doses as low as 1g may be very psychoactive. People commonly call them “blue runners” or “azzies.”

What Are the Medicinal Uses of Shrooms?

Psilocybin has a long history of research due to its multiple therapeutic benefits. Since the sixties, scientists have studied shrooms as a treatment alternative for depression, anxiety, and addiction.

These developments have led some American and European countries to push for legalization. For example, Portugal and Switzerland have decriminalized personal use. As for the US, only a few states and cities, like Oregon, have taken that step.

These are five of the most promising psilocybin health benefits:

  1. Psilocybin may help alleviate depression & mood disorders.
  2. Psilocybin may help therapists treat PTSD & trauma-related illnesses.
  3. Psilocybin is currently being used to alleviate existential anxiety in palliative care patients.
  4. Psilocybin and LSD have shown promise as emerging therapies for cluster headaches.
  5. Psilocybin and other psychedelics may help therapists treat addiction and substance abuse disorders

Is LSD Legal in Washington?

No, LSD is illegal in Washington.

Like psilocybin, LSD (lysergamide diethylamide) is listed as a Schedule I drug, so it carries the same penalties. If the police find acid on you, it may land you up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine

Consider that authorities deem LSD analogs like 1P-LSD or LSZ illegal too. The prohibitions on similar psychoactive substances are the same as the original substance.

LSD is probably the most famous psychedelic — and the war on drugs indeed treated it as such. Authorities have argued against its toxicity and addictive potential for the better part of the last century. However, recent research points to acid as a potential treatment for psychiatric diseases.

Is DMT Legal in Washington?

No, DMT is prohibited in Washington.

Unfortunately, all kinds of DMT (dimethyltryptamine) are banned in the Evergreen State. Because it fits Schedule I, possessing the Spirit Molecule carries a penalty of up to three months in prison and a fine of up to $1000.

DMT is a natural compound in preparations, including changa, ayahuasca, and the famous bufo toad venom. However, keep in mind that processing and extracting DMT from any source is illegal in Washington.

Is MDMA Legal in Washington?

No, MDMA is illegal in Washington.

MDMA, also known as ecstasy, is a Schedule I substance as per title 69 of the Code of Washington. Therefore, possessing it for personal use is considered a simple misdemeanor, carrying up to 90 days in jail and $1000 in fines.

Federal authorities banned MDMA in 1985, arguing against its supposed neurotoxicity. Still, since then, research has shown that ecstasy has dozens of therapeutic benefits. For this reason, some states and countries are moving towards legalizing MDMA for medicinal uses.

Related: What is Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy?

Is Ketamine Legal in Washington?

Yes, ketamine is legal for medical use in Washington. It remains illegal for recreational use. 

Ketamine is classified as a Schedule III substance under Washington law. Although this is a “less dangerous” schedule, penalties remain the same — up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine.

Authorities decided to put ketamine in Schedule III due to its multiple therapeutic benefits. Ketamine is primarily used as an anesthetic and for treating depression and post-traumatic stress. You can find ketamine clinics throughout the state of Washington, especially in larger cities like Seattle, Tacoma, or Spokane. 

Is Marijuana Legal in Washington?

Yes, marijuana is legal in Washington.

The Evergreen State was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. In 2012, voters passed Initiative 502, which removed all penalties regarding possession under one ounce and allowed selling marijuana under specific regulations.

To get access to a medical license (which grants users larger quantity limits and allows them to grow more plants), you must have a qualifying condition and authorization by a licensed doctor. You can find all the information you need on the Washington State Department of Health’s website.

According to federal rulings, delta 8 THC and delta 10 THC are legal in the US. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, these cannabinoids are permitted if derived from hemp. However, Washington authorities specifically banned delta 8 in 2021 — but delta 9 THC and delta 10 remain legal.

What’s the Difference Between Legalization & Decriminalization?

Nowadays, it’s prevalent to hear about authorities decriminalizing or legalizing certain drugs. However, most people don’t know the difference between these key concepts.

When a state or a country legalizes a substance, it automatically abolishes all related penalties. Plus, it becomes legal to buy and sell it under specific criteria, making the black market obsolete. Still, this is a drastic move for most authorities, so only a handful of governments have opted for this.

Decriminalization is way more common, as it also abolishes penalties but doesn’t allow selling or buying the substance. Although it may not sound like much, it’s a critical intermediate step before legalization. Plus, it brings some benefits of its own, like reduced drug-related violence.

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

Washington laws regarding psychedelic drugs are pretty mild compared to some other states. However, although Washington is a relatively progressive state, legalization is still far away.

In general, the US is heading towards legalizing substances like psilocybin, MDMA, ketamine, and LSD for medicinal use. Also, some states are moving to decriminalize drugs instead.

We can hope for the Evergreen State authorities to follow Oregon’s steps. Decriminalizing psychedelics would be a significant step forward and would bring many benefits of its own.