Press Release

Tánaiste announces ban on sale of magic mushrooms

The Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD, announced today (Tuesday 31 January) that the law relating to mushrooms containing the psychoactive drug psilocin or an ester of psilocin – so called magic mushrooms – has been clarified to confirm that mushrooms in their raw state are banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, and that their possession or sale is a criminal offence.

Following a Government Decision today the Tanaiste has signed a statutory instrument to give effect to the ban on the sale or possession of so-called magic mushrooms, whether raw or processed. The legislation agreed today removes any doubt that any substance (whether natural or otherwise) including a fungus of any kind or description, which contains psilocin or an ester of psilocin is a controlled drug for the purposes of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977.

Officials from the Department of Health and Children met with officials from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, the Gardaí and the Forensic Science Laboratory in relation to the legal position of magic mushrooms in November 2005. Concerns around increased imports and sales of fresh mushrooms were raised at that meeting.

The Tanaiste stated “In December I met with the family of a young man who died after having consumed psychoactive mushrooms. At that time it had become clear that the sale of magic mushrooms was increasingly commonplace, and I directed that legislation be prepared to clarify the law to ensure that the trade in these drugs could not continue. I have signed the statutory instrument required to give effect to that legislation today.”