Psilocin and psilocybin – magic mushrooms

Psilocin and psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredients of so-called ‘magic mushrooms’, are included in Schedule 1 of the 1971 UN Convention and thus are controlled in all Member States. However, the legal status of magic mushrooms, as well the extent to which any legal restrictions on their growth and consumption are enforced, varies between Member States, i.e. mushrooms may be controlled, uncontrolled or controlled if ‘processed’, a status that is not entirely legally clear.

The ESPAD survey reported on the use of ‘magic mushrooms’ for the first time in 2003. Prevalence estimates for use of ‘magic mushrooms’ among 15- to 16-year-old school students exceeded or equalled those for LSD or other hallucinogenic drugs in most of the countries that participated (31). In addition, compared with lifetime experience of ecstasy use, lifetime prevalence of magic mushrooms use was higher in Belgium, Germany and France and the same in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. Lifetime prevalence of magic mushrooms use was zero in Cyprus, Finland and Romania, rising to 4 % in Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom, and to 5 % in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Prevalence is highest in the Czech Republic (8 %). Trend data for the use of magic mushrooms are not available.

(31) See Figure EYE-2 (part v) in the 2005 statistical bulletin.