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News Update: Magic Mushrooms in Georgia

Magic mushrooms were known for their “psychedelic” properties. But research shows more to these shrooms. Some areas of the United States decided to decriminalize the “former drug.” This is due to its recreational and medicinal benefits. But psilocybe caerulescens isn’t that beneficial to others.

Many factors led to people thinking of magic mushrooms in Georgia as evil. Due to the stigma associated with them, legislation viewed them as a danger for Georgians. As a result, strict laws and regulations were formed.

Magic Mushroom Laws: Georgia

The State of Georgia follows the Drug Enforcement Agency and its laws on drugs. This means that they refer to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The law classifies drugs according to their potential addiction and medicinal use. This determines offenders’ punishments. Even so, these vary per state.

In the Peach State, magic mushrooms fall under the Schedule I class, according to Georgia Code. This is because they contain psilocybin which causes its effects. Schedule I means that they are the most addictive with no acceptable medical use. Schedule I also carries the most severe penalties.

Typically, the punishment for drug possession includes a fee and prison time. But, only Marijuana is what leads someone to both penalties. Possession of psilocybin and other Schedule I drugs means prison time. The first offense can give you two to fifteen years in prison. Anything after that leads to a sentence of up to thirty years in prison.

What About Spores?

mushroom in the forest

Most areas of the United States don’t consider the spores of a magic mushroom to be illegal. This is because they still aren’t mature enough to develop psilocybin. People can legally own these spores. Citizens can even sell magic mushroom spores so long as they stay spores. But, some areas view spores differently.

Of the 52 states in the country, only three declared it illegal. This means that you can’t sell or own magic mushroom spores. These states are Idaho, California, and Georgia. The reason behind this is their potential to develop psilocybin once they mature. Being an illegal Schedule I drug, they also lead people to the same consequences.

The state has strict regulations when it comes to the legality of psilocybin. Nonetheless, the mushrooms and spores are neither decriminalized nor legal in Georgia.

Decriminalization & Legalization: What’s The Difference?

Let’s first differentiate the difference between decriminalization and legalization. This is better to understand the laws on drug possession and use.

Violating the law will alert the police and other practitioners. They will then bring up criminal charges according to the violated law. From here, the court takes over. They will essentially try the person accused of committing the crime. This is the time when they determine if the defendant is guilty or innocent.

Usually, when the court declares someone guilty, there is a penalty depending on the crime—these range from thousands of dollars in fines to an incredibly long prison sentence. In short, criminal offenses involve serious consequences, much like in Georgia.

Decriminalization

Sometimes, the state can declare certain offenses to be decriminalized. The officials imply that people’s crimes will no longer be recognized as a crime. Also, they removed criminal sanctions against acts, articles, and behavior. This includes arrests and prison sentences.

But, this does not mean that people are free to do whatever they want. Even if it is not considered a crime, it is still illegal under federal and state laws. For example, decriminalizing psilocybin means that it is still illegal. But the offenders aren’t prosecuted for the amount they have with them.

Instead of the legal processes of courts, decriminalization could mean paying civil penalties. In the case of decriminalized drugs, the penalty could either be a fine or an education program.

gavel on a desk

Legalization

Simply, no criminal or civil penalties even if found in possession. This also includes if someone is using a controlled substance. Yet, there are some things to remember when something is legalized.

Legalization usually means that there are regulations for these “legal drugs.” Alcohol is the best example because it is open for consumption but also harmful to people. Drunk driving, alcohol-related illnesses, and dependence are some risks of alcohol consumption.

Due to this, the state creates regulations that must be followed. Regulating alcohol or any substance isn’t meant to restrict people. It’s developed to protect its citizens from the many dangers. The same can be said about Marijuana and psilocybin.

What Does Research Say About Psilocybin Mushrooms?

a handful of shrooms for research

Georgia law thinks of psilocybin as a dangerous substance that should be banned. According to studies, psilocybin in magic mushrooms is effective against mental illnesses. But, over time, things change when people talk about the research. This includes depression and addiction.

Johns Hopkins Medicine is the most famous source for research on psilocybin use. Their study took 24 individuals with an average of serious depression type. With the help of psychotherapy, the use of shrooms immensely helped. This reduced the average depression level for all the candidates. 

It’s common for people to think that magic mushrooms are addictive. However, the substance helps with addictions. Amanda Feilding from The Beckley Foundation conducted a study on addiction. The research is based on Johns Hopkins on addiction and psilocybin. The studies are still ongoing, but they have nothing but positive results.

Many other groups have conducted their research. It’s no surprise that some have taken the initiative for psilocybin use. The benefits of the substance have been increasing as well. This goes from creative thoughts to helping control cancer-related anxiety.

Initiatives For The Psilocybin Mushroom

Psilocybin became so popular because of the research. As a result, many people and changes in the government. Unfortunately, the advocacies in Georgia aren’t as expected because of the strict laws. Even so, there still is some support for psilocybin legalization from Georgians.

Locally, the University of Georgia has a Psychedelic Club run by students. Much like any drug advocacy group, they educate people on the benefits of psilocybin. Some students from the same university joined a movement. This is the Students For Sensible Drug Policy, which does the same for the entire nation. 

MushFest is a yearly festival by The Mushroom Foragers of Georgia. The two-day celebration is packed with activities. This includes arts, food, and music. This also includes educating the attendees on the benefits of mushrooms. The most significant development from this event comes in 2021. This is where they tackle psilocybin and its many different uses.

Outside of Georgia, Oregon is the first state that fully legalized psilocybin. This is for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Also, Oakland and Denver decriminalized possession because of the research. Other states currently research their own. This is to determine the condition of magic mushrooms in their territory.

Conclusion

Magic mushrooms are even gaining more attention. Georgians are now starting to realize the benefits of psilocybin use. But, they are neither decriminalized nor legalized in the state. The mushrooms and spores of psilocybin remain illegal. Its legislation has passed a strict set of laws to control it.

It’s even more challenging to know where to find magic mushrooms in Georgia. Avid users and potential first-timers may have to wait. They will have to wait until they can freely consume the best magic mushrooms Georgia has to offer.

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