Psilocybin, also known as “magic mushrooms,” has been illegal since 1968. Cannabis drug laws in the U.S. have come a long way since then, so you might be wondering: Are shrooms legal in Oklahoma?
The short answer is no — and penalties for buying, possessing, and using shrooms can be severe.
But taking a broader look at magic mushroom laws across the country reveals a much more complex picture. An increasing number of studies and clinical trials show the benefits of medicinal use of magic mushrooms.
While the number of people using shrooms is small — about 0.1% of people reported using psychedelics in the last year — there are still over 21 million Americans who have tried using psychoactive mushrooms. Whether recreationally or medicinally, many turn to shrooms for their reported health benefits, spiritual exploration, or recreational enjoyment.
While Oklahoma isn’t likely to lead the change in drug reform, some lawmakers and activists are pushing for change. Below, we’ll take a look at the basics of magic mushrooms, including their legality around the country and the potential changes for 2022.
Can you buy shrooms in Oklahoma safely in 2022? Let’s break it down.
Psilocybin mushrooms, more commonly known as magic mushrooms or “shrooms,” are edible mushrooms that can induce a hallucinogenic effect. They contain a naturally psychoactive compound called psilocybin.
Despite being 100 times less potent than LSD, another psychedelic, magic mushrooms can have a powerful effect. The drug is capable of creating visual distortions, feelings of intense euphoria, and even altering the perception of space and time. Some people who have tried shrooms often report a completely mind-altering experience. Some people even claim that shrooms have helped them reach a heightened state of spirituality.
While some report spirituality and self-discovery, shrooms are also known for the risk of inducing a “bad trip.” More negative experiences with shrooms can include frightening hallucinations, anxiety, and paranoia.
Psilocybin, the main psychoactive component in magic mushrooms, is illegal in Oklahoma. It’s considered a Schedule 1 substance by the federal Controlled Substance Act.
Possessing shrooms can come with a harsh penalty in Oklahoma. The harshest penalties include up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
However, there’s one caveat to this rule. Magic mushroom spores are currently legal to purchase in the state of Oklahoma. But what exactly does that mean? Spores can produce psychoactive mushrooms, but they don’t contain any of the psilocybin or psilocin that makes the mushrooms psychedelic. As soon as the spores are germinated, they become illegal again.
In 2016, the state passed a law reducing penalties for psychoactive substances, including magic mushrooms. In January 2022, lawmakers filed a bill meant to decriminalize low-level possession of shrooms and encourage further research into its benefits.
Magic mushrooms are legal in Brazil, Bulgaria, Jamaica, the Netherlands, and Samoa. Some other countries have decriminalized the drug or only consider the mushrooms illegal in their dried form.
When it comes to the U.S., however, they’re illegal in most states. In 2020, Oregon became the first state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms. Denver, Colorado, and Oakland, California, have signed legislation to decriminalize magic mushrooms — but they’re still not considered legal for recreational or widespread medical uses.
As more research continues on the medical and therapeutic benefits, the U.S. could see a gradual shift towards legalization.
To understand the legal standing of magic mushrooms, you need to first understand the difference between legalization and decriminalization. The concept can be confusing — and if you misinterpret what’s legal and illegal, you could find yourself having an unfortunate brush with the law.
The word “decriminalize” can be especially confusing. At first glance, it’s easy to assume that this means it’s no longer illegal. But that’s not the case. When states have decriminalized magic mushrooms, what that means is that it’s still illegal, but if an individual is caught buying, possessing, or using shrooms, the punishment won’t face as severe of a punishment.
Legalization, on the other hand, means making a given action completely legal to do — without fear of punishment from the local or federal government.
As research on the benefits of magic mushrooms continues, support is mounting for legislation in Oklahoma that would relax the rules on shrooms. One bill put forward in March 2022 is meant to legalize the research of psychedelic substances to combat the mental health crisis. If Oklahoma gets involved in psilocybin research, it could pave the way for future legalization.
Even with that, there’s still a long way to go. Full-scale decriminalization might still be years away, let alone legalization. This means that the next time you’re heading through Oklahoma City, don’t count on being able to pick up shrooms any time soon.
Magic mushrooms have been used for over 10,000 years to induce various spiritual and medical effects. Now, however, psychedelics have gained a more negative reputation in mainstream culture. Many consider using shrooms to be dangerous.
Unlike cannabis, which has seen a recent shift towards legalization — for both recreational and medical use — psilocybin lacks the same legal and cultural support.
But shrooms aren’t just a remnant of the psychedelic 1960s. Research shows they have some concrete medical benefits that are starting to receive national recognition.
In 2018, the FDA designated magic mushrooms as a “breakthrough therapy,” a classification that shows its therapeutic potential for mental illnesses like depression. After research emerged showing the potential of psychedelic treatment, Johns Hopkins University launched the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research in 2019, where they continue to explore the benefits of psychoactive drugs, including mushrooms.
So what exactly can psilocybin mushrooms treat? Here’s what research says about the potential for shrooms treatment.
Depression is one of the conditions most often explored with psilocybin therapy. Given the “breakthrough therapy” designation by the FDA, research has been fast-tracked for the treatment of depression.
New research shows that magic mushrooms interact with the serotonin receptors in the brain — and even one dose can be enough to alleviate symptoms.
Research shows promising potential for addiction treatment, from smoking to alcoholism to cocaine. One study on nicotine addiction found that 80% of participants who had psilocybin mushroom therapy quit smoking and 60% of those were still abstaining from nicotine 16 months later. Other therapies had a success rate of only 35%.
Research has also shown promising results in the treatment of anxiety for those facing advanced or late-stage cancer. A trial in 2016 found that one dose of magic mushrooms substantially improved quality of life and decreased overall cancer-related depression and anxiety.
While studies and clinical trials are ongoing, researchers are also looking into the medical use of psilocybin for other conditions, including anorexia, Alzheimer’s, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Like many psychedelics, not all of the benefits of shrooms can be summed up in a research study. Not all effects are as easily observable.
Many people who use psychoactive mushrooms report a deeper, more spiritual impact on their minds. Some of these effects can include:
Using psychedelics, including psilocybin, can create a state of temporary ego loss. In these states, a person feels separated from their sense of self — and their ego — which offers a broader experience of the world. These experiences can be life-changing, making someone feel more connected to those around them.
Some users of magic mushrooms have reported other mental benefits, including a boost in creativity and focus. Particularly when microdosing, people can enter a heightened state of creativity where they see the world in a new light.
After a high-dose session of shrooms, research shows that psilocybin can create a significant increase in “openness.” Openness is a psychological term that refers to one’s attitude when facing new and unfamiliar experiences. It can be linked to imagination, creativity, and appreciation for life. In nearly 60% of study participants, they experienced a greater sense of openness for more than one year after their session.
A lot about magic mushrooms is still a mystery, even with the recent surge in research efforts. That includes what exactly psilocybin does to the brain to trigger its medical effects.
However, we do know that psilocybin and other psychedelics interact with serotonin receptors in the brain. It can even shift the way the brain communicates. When certain neurons in the brain are less active during a trip, the brain can make new associations and develop new understandings of reality.
For example, if the brain is affected by trauma and primarily views the world as unsafe, those thoughts can be quieted and replaced by a larger perspective on the goodness of the world — producing feelings of love, comfort, and compassion. The drug can supply mental flexibility that allows people to expand their perspective and break out of harmful patterns of thinking.
Most legal use of magic mushrooms comes through clinical trials, where researchers can explore the effects of the drug in a controlled environment.
As with most clinical trials, volunteers are carefully selected to make sure they qualify. As psilocybin is so sensitive to underlying mental conditions (like a family history of schizophrenia), the researchers screen each candidate carefully to make sure they’re not at risk of having a bad reaction.
Once selected, participants are asked to lie down in a comfortable place with an eye mask and soothing background music. Then, they’re given a controlled dose of psilocybin — around 20 mg to 30 mg, often adjusted to body weight.
During a six to eight-hour session, a therapist monitors the patient at all times. While they’re mostly there to witness the process, they can also reassure the participant if they have an adverse reaction and ensure their safety.
While shrooms can create powerful hallucinations, patients are encouraged to instead focus their attention inward. Keeping a mindset of healing is a critical part of the process. Once the brain is in a malleable state, the patient can start to reflect on how they’re going to make changes in their life.
Throughout several follow-up sessions, the therapist works to maintain these changes and turn them into a real-world outcome.
If you’re eager to find out where to buy shrooms in Oklahoma, you’re out of luck. There’s no legal and safe way to buy shrooms in Oklahoma or any other state, excluding Oregon. While you can forage psychoactive mushrooms in some states, it’s still illegal to possess the drug. And there are risks of picking up a potentially toxic type of mushroom.
Still, things are moving in the right direction. It might not be right away, but legalization could start spreading to new states. As research advances, the medicinal use of shrooms could become a legal reality.
But you still may want to learn how to consume shrooms safely. Here are a few things to know before jumping in.
Buying shrooms can feel like a shot in the dark, even if it’s not your first time trying it out. There are over 180 species of mushrooms that contain the psychedelic compound that gives it the hallucinogenic effect. Even within each species, there are more strains and varieties.
Each strain — depending on the weight and potency — can interact with each person differently. Your individual biology and psychology, including your mental state when you take it, can completely transform your experience.
So once you have mushrooms, how do you know how much is the “right” amount? A lot depends on your body weight, metabolism, and reaction to the dose, but there are some basic factors you can follow:
The higher the dose, the greater the intensity. The experience will usually last about four to seven hours. The most intense effects will hit at a peak and then wane after the first two hours.
It’s important to start with a lower dose — you never know how your body will react. Playing it safe at first will help you avoid a bad trip. If you do find yourself in the middle of an overwhelming trip, it’s important to stay calm and lean into the experience. Fighting against the experience could only lead to the trip spiraling further out of control.
While intense doses can lead to wild trips (or even what’s known as “ego death”), a popular way to consume magic mushrooms is microdosing. Microdosing is the practice of ingesting a dose of psilocybin that’s so small it’s almost imperceptible to the body. These semi-regular doses can give you the medical benefits, like reducing anxiety, boosting focus, and improving mood, without the psychoactive effect.
The way you consume magic mushrooms can also affect the potency. You can chew up the mushrooms whole — the most common way to consume it.
You can also grind up dried mushrooms into a fine powder. The powder can be added to food or brewed into shroom tea. This ground-up version of psychoactive mushrooms tends to be more potent and delivers the effects more quickly.
Psilocybin works on the serotonin system, which is why it has such a potent effect on anxiety and depression. But this also means that it can interact with antidepressant medications and other mental health medications. Combining drugs and psychedelics can lead to an unexpected intensity that you might not be prepared for.
While the risks of combining medications with magic mushrooms aren’t well studied or understood, it’s not recommended for anyone taking medications to try psychedelics without approval from a physician. In most cases, it’s safer to try it out in supervised clinical settings.
When dosing mushrooms, you might be wondering: Is there a difference in the potency of caps and stalks? Or do you have to take the whole fruiting body to get the psilocybin effects?
According to a 2003 study, the psilocybin content of caps is typically more potent. While the effect might be negligible, it’s important to be aware of which part of the mushroom you’re taking.
An important factor in the quality of your magic mushroom experience is the environment. You always want to take shrooms in a safe, comfortable setting. If you’re feeling mentally off or feel anxious, depressed, or paranoid, these feelings could manifest in a bad trip.
Psychedelics in general are very sensitive to your mental state, so the more comfortable you can make yourself, the better. If you’re trying a dose for the first time, it’s best to have someone to watch over you.
While it’s considered a Schedule 1 drug in the United States, psilocybin doesn’t have much of an addiction potential. Unlike other drugs, it doesn’t trigger the reward center of the brain to create an addiction.
However, like all drugs, magic mushrooms can still be abused or overused. When in a wrong mental state or a non-controlled environment, some users of magic mushrooms have hurt themselves or others. In the process of a bad trip, someone could fall off a building, walk into traffic, or get behind the wheel of a car. This is why it’s more important than ever to have a trip sitter, even if the dose feels manageable.
Magic mushrooms are considered more psychologically dangerous than a drug like cannabis. For those with a family history of schizophrenia or who are at risk of suicide, taking it outside a controlled environment can be extremely risky.
No matter how careful you are with dosing, anyone can have a negative, painful, or frightening experience while tripping on shrooms. This is why it’s especially important to have a therapist or other professional involved in the process. Pain isn’t necessarily a bad part of the process — it may be necessary to process trauma or overcome a challenge. But without someone to help coach you through the experience, it could make things worse.
If used repeatedly, you might also notice that the drug has a diminishing effect. Over time, it can become less effective and you’ll need higher doses to attain the same effect.
Chronic use of the drug may lead to cardiovascular risk. Over time, it can change the structure of the heart valves. While this isn’t a risk if taken a few times for therapeutic effects, if using it several times a week or more, there could be consequences.
Ultimately, magic mushrooms are a powerful tool. If used correctly, it can completely transform someone’s life and create a lasting, profound experience. If used incorrectly, it could harm the person mentally or physically. Regardless of how legalization progresses in the U.S., it’s important to take shrooms responsibly.
Oklahoma may still be a long way from legalizing psychedelics, including magic mushrooms. But the bills recently introduced to pave the way for research and decreasing penalties for offenders seem promising. After recognition by institutions like Johns Hopkins, more researchers are calling attention to the low risk and high medicinal benefits of magic mushrooms. Over time, you can expect to see changes in the future of how the state regulates psychedelics — with a possibility for further legalization across the U.S.
In the meantime, it’s still perfectly legal to look into the different laws and legal details by state. Whether you’re an amateur mycologist or you’re just dabbling in the world of psychedelics, an exploration into magic mushrooms could be just around the corner.