So-called “magic mushrooms” are illegal in Colorado, and everywhere else in the United States. These mushrooms contain the hallucinogenic compounds psilocybin and psilocin. There are over 200 species of mushrooms worldwide that contain these compounds, and they naturally grow on all continents except Antarctica. The mushrooms occur in 12 distinct biological genera, meaning that they can take on very different appearances. The psilocybin and psilocin act as poisons to deter animals from eating the mushrooms, in the same way as other poison mushrooms. Those compounds have hallucinogenic effects similar to mescaline and LSD. In some cases, use of magic mushrooms has been linked to hallucinogen persisting perception disorder, and such symptoms as panic attacks, depression, and paranoid delusions.
When people eat some kinds of poison mushrooms, they die. With others, their body knows to throw up the poison before that happens. That often happens with users of magic mushrooms. Users—especially new users—often feel sick to the stomach and want to throw up. This is because the body naturally knows that psilocybin and psilocin are poisons, and the body’s natural reaction is to get rid of the poison. These compounds should not be considered safe. They are Schedule I drugs, meaning that their possession and use are illegal. Possession of these drugs is a felony offense under Colorado law. Selling magic mushrooms can result in a prison sentence of up to 16 years.
Even though kits purporting to allow you to grow these mushrooms may be available for purchase on the internet, you should not be fooled into thinking that growing magic mushrooms is legal. It is not. It is highly illegal. The reason that the kits can be sold is that the spores from the mushrooms do not contain the hallucinogenic substances, but once you start growing the mushrooms they start creating the substances, meaning you are manufacturing a controlled substance. This is the same criminal offense as operating a meth lab. It is a very serious felony. Growing magic mushrooms can result in a prison sentence of up to 16 years.
Some people who are arrested for possession of magic mushrooms tell the police that they did not know that they could get into much trouble, and that they thought that the penalties would be similar to those for marijuana. This is not the case. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Unlike more common street drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, the psychoactive compounds in magic mushrooms are not purified, which means they are miniscule percentage of the overall weight of the illegal substance. Because magic mushrooms have a much higher weight to dose ratio than almost any other drug, possession of a few doses worth of magic mushrooms involves possessing a substance weighing much more than the same number of doses of other drugs—sometimes a hundred times more. Because drug penalties in Colorado increase by weight, possession of magic mushrooms can end up being an even more serious criminal offense than possessing other illegal drugs.
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