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Despite a general push towards the legalization and decriminalization of psychedelics throughout much of the world, many countries are still cracking the whip on psychedelic drugs. For example, we do not recommend — by any means — flaunting drugs openly as you arrive in the Philippines or Malaysia. However, there are a few countries with more relaxed views. Here are the best places to travel where you can find (mostly) legal psychedelics.
Brazil has historically been one of the most liberal countries in the world when it comes to allowing controlled substances. Psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms) for example, have no laws prohibiting their sale, distribution, or use. Thus, there have been no major recent charges or arrests related to psilocybin. Magic mushrooms are sold mainly over the internet on specialized websites without persecution from local authorities. Additionally, the possession and use of ayahuasca have been legal since 1992 after a series of legal battles regarding the religious rights of traditional ayahuasca practitioners.
Tip: This article is updated as of March 2019, and drug policy could significantly change in the coming months with the election of Jair Bolsonaro. Also, for help setting up your future itinerary, here are the best places to stay in Rio de Janeiro.
Psychedelic drugs in Jamaica are sold openly and have never been made explicitly illegal by the country’s government. Like in many places, Jamaica has tons of opportunities for psychedelic retreats within a stone’s throw of Kingston, and many locals and foreigners are gaining momentum in reframing the psychedelic experience as a medicinal one. This may come as little surprise in a country famous for its cannabis culture, but the legalization movement started only as recently as 2015. Little is known in regards to other psychedelics like ayahuasca, san pedro, or lysergic acid (LSD), so it’s best to proceed with caution in those departments. For other helpful hints and tips on Jamaica travel, read up on Backpacking Jamaica: Your Go-To Guide.
Due to a widely-known legal loophole in the Netherlands, the European country makes it on our list of countries with the most relaxed psychedelic laws. To be clear — magic mushrooms are akin to a schedule I drug in the Netherlands, so their use is completely prohibited. However, you can still purchase and consume psilocybin in the form of “magic truffles,” which is just another part of the mushroom. Head over to any of the Netherlands’ “smart shops” and you’ll most likely find a selection of truffles.
Ayahuasca also holds legal status in the Netherlands, and it can be purchased in certain shops around Amsterdam and the rest of the country. And yes, you can book retreats here as well.
Native American Reservations in the United States
It’s no secret that the United States isn’t exactly fond of drugs. The DEA’s Controlled Substances Act classifies illegal drugs into one of five schedules (one being the most dangerous, and five being the least). Drugs falling under category I include a slew of psychedelics like psilocybin, mescaline, LSD, and DMT.
However, after a legal battle in the 1960s regarding religious rights, drugs like peyote (which is derived from cactus) were declared as sacred for the Native American communities, and have been protected under law ever since. Again, the area here is a bit grey, as there have been examples of police crackdowns. Members of the Native American Church can legally consume peyote anywhere on the reservation, but in the southwestern states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada, even those not affiliated with the church are free to consume natural psychedelics.
Peru has one of the most storied pasts when it comes to psychedelics. Ayahuasca, in particular, was used by indigenous tribes in the Peruvian Amazon alongside philosophies of shamanism. Today, the substance is legal to use and possess, and there is a large number of private companies and organizations offering retreats for those who are keen. If you’re in Lima, we highly recommend this Lima Sightseeing Tour to get you accustomed to the city.
Portugal has been one of the frontrunners in the push towards drug decriminalization as all drugs have been decriminalized since 2001, regardless of their potential side effects. Decriminalized doesn’t mean legal, but it’s a country where police tend to allow the casual consumption of psychedelics. LSD is openly available and possessing small quantities of mushrooms won’t get you in any trouble.
The United Kingdom
If you’re looking to find a legal high in the UK, look no further than Hawaiian Baby Woodrose. This plant, which is also called Wholly Morning Glory (we’re unsure which name is better), is native to India but can now be found around the world. The seeds of the Baby Woodrose plant contain a significant amount of ergine, which is also known as LSA, the precursor to LSD. The effects include more of a sedative, dream-like trance that is noticeably different than the effects of LSD. In the UK, Hawaiian Baby Woodrose is uncontrolled, legal, and freely available. It’s often purchased as a decorative plant, so buying it online is no problem.