News Update Feb 2022: Magic Mushrooms in Texas
There are many species of mushrooms. But, some mushrooms can cause hallucinations when ingested. These fungi are often referred to as magic mushrooms, and they are also called psychoactive mushrooms or hallucinogenic mushrooms. Or, some call them shrooms.
Psilocin and psilocybin are the psychoactive chemicals that cause a mushroom trip. These substances work the same way as other psychedelics found in plants. Such substances include LSD, ayahuasca, mescaline and ibogaine.
Are There Magic Mushrooms in Texas?
Yes, many species of magic mushrooms grow in Texas. For example, the Psilocybe cubensis are small, brownish, and non-descript psychoactive mushrooms. Growers cultivated this in many varieties and strains, but it grows wild in some areas of the state.
But, even if magic mushrooms grow in Texas, individuals shouldn’t forage them in a forest. Even if you have a field guide, going out on your own is still a risk you do not want to take. Why? Because when you eat unidentified mushrooms, you are putting your health at risk.
Types of Mushrooms in Texas?
There’s a variety of mushroom species all over the state, especially in East Texas. This area is well-known as the “last frontier” amongst mushroom hunters. The forests in this area are full of wild mushrooms, and the woods in the vicinity is a conducive site for growing. Many trees surround the area, and it receives the heaviest rainfall in the state.
Since 1995, mycologists have identified 550 species of mushrooms in this area. Some of them are good to eat, but others are poisonous.
Edible wild mushrooms include Chanterelles, Cantharellus sp. These are a group of vase-shaped fungi with ridges or wrinkles on their body. The Texas Chanterelle, Cantharellus texensis, is a recently-discovered Texas mushrooms species. It is well-known to be unique to the state.
Texas mushrooms can also be toxic. For example, the Destroying Angel, Amanita bisporigera. This is one of the most poisonous species globally, and eating a small dose can kill a person.
State Law and Penalties on Magic Mushrooms
According to Chris Perri Law, magic mushrooms are under Penalty Group 2-A.
This category includes drugs like MDMA, ecstasy, and illegal amphetamines.
Authorities can arrest you if you get caught in possession of magic mushrooms.
Also, the exact charges for possessing this substance will vary. It can range from the state level to first-degree criminal charges. Also, it will depend on the amount of substance you carry during the time of the arrest.
The penalties for magic mushrooms may include one or more of the following:
- Jail time of five years to life
- Pay fines that may cost thousands of dollars
- Loss of the right to bear a firearm
- Mandatory drug counseling
Recent Studies on Magic Mushrooms
Until now, most people have a negative impression of magic mushrooms. Even magic mushroom products get a bad rep due to their psychedelic effects.
But in recent years, researchers have found more medicinal evidence. For example, magic mushrooms seem to help treat various mental disorders. For example, patients who have post-traumatic stress disorder experienced positive results.
More lawmakers and advocates are pushing for more psilocybin research with these findings.
In 2019, Wes Elliott organized the Psychedelic Mushroom Convention in Grand Prairie. As a teenager, he battled depression, anxiety, and addiction. But, instead of relying on the medicine given to him by doctors, he decided to change the course of his life on his own. He started by going out and exploring nature.
This process became one of his ways to do self-reflection. While doing so, he stumbled upon magic mushrooms. Later, he found a lot of information about the medicinal benefits of magic mushrooms. So, he started to forage mushrooms to maintain sobriety.
This was the beginning of his exploration of magic mushrooms. Based on his research, the potency of a mushroom trip will depend on the dose. This means that even small amounts can induce a psychedelic effect. So, he started to experiment with micro-dosing.
He then experienced the benefits of taking magic mushrooms. Thus, he started to become an advocate for psychedelic mushrooms.
In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration designated psilocybin as a breakthrough therapy. Also, magic mushroom research is now underway at Johns Hopkins. Several experiments found evidence that magic mushrooms helped patients with depression.
The Future of Magic Mushrooms in Texas
Drug laws keep on evolving. For instance, cannabis policies are becoming more lenient, especially in Austin. Some state laws have already decriminalized magic mushrooms, and some have even legalized their use. More states are now looking to legalize psychedelic medical research.
Last year, Travis County decreased the punishments for people involved with other drugs and including substances like narcotics. Thus, carrying one gram or less of mushrooms has lesser penalties. But, it is still possible to face felony-level criminal charges for illegal mushrooms.
Now in Texas, magic mushrooms are still considered illegal substances. So, if you get caught in possession of magic mushrooms, you will still face criminal charges. But, the future is looking bright, and Texas was the latest state to legalize research on psychedelic mushrooms.