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Are Magic Mushrooms Becoming More Widely Accepted?


5/20/2019

Our nation’s drug laws are changing rapidly – medical marijuana is available for purchase and use in many states, and it has been completely decriminalized in others. Now, the City of Denver has voted to legalize hallucinogenic mushrooms. However, both of these substances remain illegal under federal law. In addition, state law is often more complicated than it appears at first glance. As a result, you can find yourself facing drug charges that you didn’t expect.

Philadelphia drug lawyer Lauren Wimmer can help you face your charges and get a fair result. And despite relaxing attitudes, a drug conviction can carry serious ramifications. Don’t leave your future in the hands of the prosecution – call us today at 215-712-1212 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Denver Votes to Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms – or Did They?

Earlier this month, Denver voters voted to approve Initiated Ordinance 301, also known as the “Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Initiative.” Headlines from multiple media sources reported that the approval made Denver the first city in America to legalize hallucinogenic mushrooms.

The reality of the situation is somewhat different. The text of the ordinance actually states that its intent is to “deprioritize, to the greatest extent possible, imposition of criminal penalties…. and prohibit the City and County of Denver from spending resources on imposing criminal penalties….” Technically speaking, therefore, magic mushrooms are still illegal, but the ordinance prohibits Denver from imposing any criminal penalties.

In addition to the confusing state of the law, it’s worth noting that the ordinance was not overwhelmingly popular. The ordinance passed by only 2,000 votes, with 49.4% of voters opposing it. It’s unclear at this time whether voters will move to repeal the ordinance, but given the narrow majority, it doesn’t seem unlikely.

Finally, we should point out that the ordinance only applies to the personal use and possession of mushrooms for people 21 or older. It does not apply to the sale of mushrooms or to the use and possession of mushrooms for people under 21 years old.

Hallucinogenic Mushrooms Under Pennsylvania Drug Laws

Just like under federal law, hallucinogenic mushrooms are considered a Schedule 1 drug in Pennsylvania. This means that they are considered to have no valid medical use and have a high potential for serious abuse. This is despite the growing consensus that hallucinogenic mushrooms can be effective in treating anxiety, depression, and other disorders and that mushrooms are not habit forming. If you’re facing Philadelphia drug charges as a result of the use, possession, or sale of mushrooms, you need to realize that you may be facing some very harsh consequences.

Simple Possession of Hallucinogenic Mushrooms

If you were arrested with only a small amount of mushrooms for personal use, you were likely charged with “simple possession.” A simple possession charge is the lightest drug charge you can face for mushrooms, but can still carry harsh consequences. If you’re convicted, you could face the following penalties:

  • First offense: maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Subsequent offenses: up to three years in jail.

In addition, a conviction for possession of mushrooms could result in the suspension of your driver’s license. The consequences of a simple possession charge can change your life forever.

Purchase and Sale of Hallucinogenic Mushrooms in Pennsylvania

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is also illegal to buy or sell mushrooms in Pennsylvania. Knowingly purchasing magic mushrooms for personal use is subject to the same penalties as simple possession. If you were arrested for selling mushrooms, however, you are facing severe charges.

Possession with Intent to Distribute Hallucinogenic Mushrooms

Trafficking in mushrooms, also referred to as “possession with intent to distribute,” carries some of the harshest penalties possible under Pennsylvania law. Possession with intent to distribute can cover a wide variety of actions, including the sale, distribution, or growing of magic mushrooms. Whether or not you are charged with possession with intent to distribute mushrooms will depend on the amount you have in your possession and other circumstances surrounding your case. If convicted, the penalties are severe:

  • Two to 10 grams: a felony charge that carries a prison sentence of up to two years and a fine of up to $5,000 for your first offense. Subsequent offenses carry a prison sentence of up to three years and a $10,000 fine.
  • Ten to 100 grams: a felony charge that carries a prison sentence of up to three years and a fine of $15,000 for your first offense. Subsequent offenses can result in up to five years in prison and a fine of $30,000.
  • Over 100 grams: up to five years in prison and a fine of $25,000. Subsequent offenses can result in up to seven years in prison and a fine of $50,000.

Most people simply cannot afford a conviction with the harshest sentence.

Years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines will have repercussions for you and your family long after you’ve finished your time in prison. If you’ve been charged with possession with intent to distribute mushrooms, you should contact a Philadelphia drug attorney right away.

Facing Philadelphia Drug Charges? Call Wimmer Criminal Defense Law Today

Too many people think that since it was “just mushrooms,” they don’t need to worry about their charges. Whether charged with simple possession or possession with intent to distribute, you should take your charges seriously – the prosecution certainly will. The best thing you can do to protect your future is to hire an experienced drug charge defense lawyer.

Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer Lauren C. Wimmer has the knowledge, skills, and experience to help you get a fair result. At Wimmer Criminal Defense Law, we know that your life is at stake, so we provide you with an aggressive defense every step of the way. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, schedule a free consultation by calling 215-712-1212 or reaching out online.