Psilocybin mushrooms, commonly referred to as “magic mushrooms,” have attracted widespread attention recently. Although psilocybin is still considered a dangerous drug under Arizona law and getting caught with it can result in serious drug trafficking charges, a new bill might change all that.
In this post, we will discuss the current legal status of psilocybin mushrooms in Arizona, the potential changes in the pipeline, and what it all means for residents of the Grand Canyon State. Knowledge is power, and staying informed is the first step in making sure your rights are protected.
At the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, we are not only well-versed in the complexities of Arizona’s drug laws, but we’re also keeping a close eye on the potential legislative changes surrounding psilocybin and other psychedelics. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges for using or possessing psilocybin, don’t hesitate to call us at 520-882-8823 or send us a message online for a free consultation.
Current Laws Regarding Psilocybin Mushrooms
Psilocybin mushrooms are a group of fungi that contain a powerful psychedelic substance that can alter your mind. These “shrooms” can essentially make you see, hear, feel, and think things that are not real. Some people use them for fun and spiritual exploration, while trauma survivors claim they can help with depression and anxiety.
However, psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in the US. They are classified as Schedule I drugs under federal law, which means they have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. You can face hefty fines as well as criminal charges for possessing, cultivating, or distributing them. Some states and cities have decriminalized shrooms for medical or personal use, however. Oregon became the first state to legalize psilocybin for therapeutic purposes in 2020.
But in Arizona, as far as the state law is concerned, psilocybin mushrooms are as bad as drugs like cocaine and meth.
A new bill – House Bill 2486 – might change that. This bill proposes that Arizona should fund research to learn whether psilocybin mushrooms could be used to help people with psychological disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. If the bill passes, it would set aside $30 million over three years to fund clinical trials to see if psilocybin is safe and effective.
These trials would use whole-mushroom psilocybin, which is different from the synthetic version used in current studies. Some researchers believe that using the whole mushroom could lead to better results.
If you are part of the trial, you wouldn’t get in trouble for having psilocybin. The bill says that participants in the study wouldn’t be charged or prosecuted for possession of psilocybin for the duration of the study.
Penalties for Psilocybin Possession in Arizona
Psilocybin mushrooms are classified as dangerous drugs under Arizona Revised Statutes Title 13, Criminal Code § 13-3401. This puts psilocybin in the same category as drugs like methamphetamine and other illegally purchased prescription sedatives. Possession or use of psilocybin is a class 4 felony, which can be quite severe.
If it’s your first offense, you could face a maximum of three years and nine months in prison or probation for up to four years, along with significant fines. If you have a previous conviction for a drug possession crime, you are looking at a mandatory minimum of two years and three months in prison. Depending on the nature of your prior charges, your prison term could be as long as 15 years.
It’s also worth noting that the laws differentiate between magic mushrooms and their spores. Spores are tiny, often microscopic, particles produced by mushrooms. These spores can travel through the air or water, or be carried by animals. When they land in a suitable environment, they can germinate and grow into a new fungus. The spores created by magic mushrooms are legal to buy in Arizona, as they do not contain the psychoactive compound found in mushrooms (psilocybin or psilocin) that makes them illegal.
But using the spores to grow mushrooms is considered “manufacturing a controlled substance,” which is a felony in Arizona. You can possess and even sell spores with no penalties, but you cannot use them to cultivate mushrooms for personal or commercial use.
Facing Psilocybin Charges in Arizona? Get Our Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyers on Your Side
While the future of psilocybin laws in Arizona remains uncertain, what’s clear is a defendant’s need for a criminal defense lawyer in Tucson who has the expertise to fight charges related to psychedelic mushrooms. At the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, we are led by attorneys who have successfully argued thousands of cases before the Arizona courts for 30+ years and helped our clients protect their constitutional rights and avoid jail time.
Once our drug crime lawyers have reviewed your case and advised you about your options, we will communicate with the prosecutor and try to reach a favorable agreement that can reduce your charges, lower your penalties, or even dismiss your case. We can also help you qualify for a diversion program, such as TASC (Treatment Assessment Screening Center) in Arizona, which may allow you to avoid a conviction and clear your record.
If that doesn’t work, we will prepare a compelling defense strategy for your case and present it in court. This includes challenging the evidence against you, cross-examining witnesses, and arguing for your innocence or mitigation. If you were subjected to an illegal search and seizure or coerced confession, we will file a motion to suppress the evidence and appeal to the judge or jury to dismiss or reduce the charges based on tainted proof.
As you can see, a drug conspiracy lawyer can make a big difference where psychedelic drugs are involved and help you achieve the best possible outcome. To learn more and schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation for your drug crime case, call us at 520-882-8823 or fill out this online form.