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British Psilocybin Mushroom Law Timeline 2002-2005
by Erowid
Apr 2005
The state of the law regarding psilocybin mushrooms in Britain and Europe is in flux in 2004-2005. As of July, 18, 2005, both fresh and dried psilocybin mushrooms are now a Class A drug in the UK.

  • 2005, Jul 20: First arrests for fresh psilocybin mushrooms begin:

  • 2005, Jul 18: Home Office announces that the fresh mushroom ban began with a clarification that the law does not apply to accidental picking or inadvertent growth of the mushrooms on one's property. Fresh mushrooms are now controlled as a Class A drug along side crack cocaine and MDMA. Magic Mushrooms ban becomes law - BBC

  • 2005, May 18: Guardian.co.uk editorializes about the British Government's Mistake: Mushroom Cloud -- Mark Honigsbaum.

  • 2005, Apr 7: The British government has passed a new Drugs Bill expanding police powers and explicitly making fresh mushrooms illegal. Drugs Bill Receives Royal Assent, Drugs.gov.uk, Text of Drugs Bill. See also: Transform's 2005 Drugs Bill News Page. The date the new law goes into effect has not yet been announced as of Apr 13, 2005.

  • 2005, Feb 19: U.K. government recently went ahead with prosecuting new cases against vendors of fresh mushrooms despite the previous court ruling that prosecution under the current law would be an "abuse of process" because the laws are too vague. The Guardian : Magic mushroom dealers face new test cases, Feb 19, 2005.

  • 2004, December 18: Bill proposed to outlaw all psilocybin mushrooms, adding "fungus (of any kind) which contains psilocin or an ester of psilocin" to the Class A list in the Misuse of Drugs Act. The Independent and Draft of Bill.

  • 2004, December 15: Discussions begin to clearly make distribution of psilocybin mushrooms a criminal offense. The Scotsman.

  • 2004, December 15: Judge largely throws out case against one psilocybin mushroom vendor because the ambiguity of the laws would make prosecution unfair and an "abuse of process". Defense Lawyers MJ Reed Soliciters, The Guardian. [Transcript of Court Hearing]

  • 2004, December 14: Several news stories discuss situation in Britain, saying the government is planning to crack down more: The Guardian, Dec 14, 2004

  • 2004, October: Mushrooms still widely for sale in London and major cities in England. See Erowid Experience: "Shopping for Psychedelics in London", by yara.

  • 2004, September: According to Edinburgh News.com, in late September, 2004, several cases against the shops selling mushrooms were dropped. At the start of July 2004, the British government announced that they had "re-interpreted" the law and declared selling fresh mushrooms a "preparation". (independent.co.uk, Jul 23 2004). In response some stores closed but many remained open around London. VAT (value added tax) was being collected on imports (thanks to JB). According to Edinburgh News.com, in late September, 2004, the cases against the shops selling mushrooms were dropped.
    "I am not sure to what extent the trade remains around the country, except to say that in London (where the initial boom in sales began a few years ago) there remains a thriving trade in fresh mushrooms and grow kits from shops and stalls in several major shopping areas." (JB, Sep 27 2004


  • 2004, Late Summer: Several vendors charged with breaking the Misuse of Drugs Act by selling mushrooms.

  • 2004, July: The British government announces that they have "re-interpreted" the law and are now declaring the sale fresh psilocybin mushrooms a "preparation". (independent.co.uk, Jul 23 2004).

  • 2004: Increasing number of psilocybin mushroom vendors publicly selling. "I am not sure to what extent the trade remains around the country, except to say that in London (where the initial boom in sales began a few years ago) there remains a thriving trade in fresh mushrooms and grow kits from shops and stalls in several major shopping areas." (Erowid Correspondence with JB).

  • 2003: Mushroom selling stalls and storefronts pop up around England, especially in London.

  • 2002: British government's Home Office issues letter stating that psilocybin mushrooms are not illegal under U.K. law "provided that [they have] not been prepared in any way."

  • Pre-2002: British law ambiguous about the legality of fresh psilocybin-containing mushrooms.