The Penalties for Possession of Psilocybin in Arizona

by | Drug Possession

Psilocybin is the psychoactive compound found in certain mushrooms that produces a hallucinogenic effect. Arizona’s laws regarding psilocybin as a dangerous drugs have some special stipulations that don’t apply to other drugs of the same classification.

If you’ve been charged with possession of a dangerous drug related to psilocybin, say as little as possible. Cooperate with direct requests from law enforcement, but do not answer any questions or consent to any searches until you’ve spoken to a competent attorney.

The Classification of Dangerous Drugs in Arizona

Arizona uses three different classifications for drugs. Drugs are either labelled as narcotics, marijuana, or dangerous drugs (that are not marijuana.) Marijuana has its own separate laws that are far more lax and typically do not result in jail time as a direct result of the passage of Prop 207 to legalize recreational marijuana.

Under Arizona Revised Statutes Title 13. Criminal Code § 13-3401 psilocybin and psilocin as they occur in mushrooms are classified as dangerous drugs, along with many other drugs that do not fit the narcotics classification.

Although it may not seem like psilocybin is an exceptionally dangerous drug, Arizona law regards it as similar to methamphetamine and illegally purchased prescription sedatives. If you or someone you know is facing charges relating to psilocybin, the situation needs to be treated just as seriously as possession of drugs that are commonly regarded as much “harder”.

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Amphetamines
  • LSD
  • Ecstasy
  • Steroids
  • PCP
  • Non-narcotic prescription drugs without a prescription

Dangerous Drug Charges

Charges relating to dangerous drugs like psilocybin are always felony charges. They span from the lowest level of a class 4 felony up to a class 2 felony. It’s important to note that a class 4 felony may be the least severe, but this doesn’t mean that the charge is minor. A felony will significantly complicate your future, and its consequences will be lengthy and costly.

Class 4 Felony

  • Possession or use of a dangerous drug

This is the most common charge people will face relating to psilocybin. It means that you had psilocybin in your possession or you were found using it.

Class 3 Felony

  • Obtaining a dangerous drug through fraud
  • Possessing equipment to manufacture dangerous drugs

Neither of these charges is likely to apply to psilocybin. Psilocybin cannot be obtained with a prescription or from a medical professional, which is generally what “through fraud” refers to.

It would be extremely difficult to charge someone with possessing equipment to manufacture dangerous drugs as it pertains to psilocybin because of the unique nature of the drug’s illegality. Spores from mushrooms that produce psilocybin do not constitute as psilocybin paraphernalia or equipment the same way that certain chemicals may be applied to the manufacture of drugs like methamphetamine.

Class 2 Felony

  • Possession of a dangerous drug for sale
  • Transporting a dangerous drug for sale
  • Administering a dangerous drug to another person

If you are suspected of selling psilocybin, or even giving it away freely to another person, these are the charges you may face. The charge you will face largely depends on the circumstances surrounding the intervention by law enforcement.

Spores and Psilocybin Mushrooms Are Regarded Differently

Psilocybin mushrooms are cultivated from the spores of other psilocybin mushrooms. The controlled substance is the psilocybin itself, rather than the fruiting body of the mushroom. It is technically legal to possess spores. They are only recognized as a dangerous drug once they’ve been cultivated into psilocybin mushrooms.

This is important to note. Mushroom spores can stick to people or clothing. It would not be unusual to come in from a pasture with remnants of pollen or mushroom spores on your clothes. This is not a crime in and of itself. It only becomes problematic if you use the spores to grow psilocybin mushrooms, which constitutes the manufacturing of a controlled substance.

Penalty for Possession of Psilocybin

Simple possession of a dangerous drug is a class 4 felony. Oftentimes, people will face multiple charges simultaneously depending on the circumstances of the arrest. Other factors or charges that come in conjunction with a possession charge will heavily impact the outcome of the situation and the total combined potential of the penalties for each person’s unique situation.

The penalty for possession of a dangerous drug typically depends on whether or not this is an individual’s first offence. This class 4 felony is punishable by a maximum of 3.75 years in prison or probation for up to four years. There will also be fines associated with conviction.

If you have an otherwise clean criminal record and you have never been charged with a drug crime before, a competent attorney should be able to successfully argue for the minimum penalty or work within the court to create a probation arrangement.

If you’ve been convicted of a drug possession crime in the past, you’re subject to a mandatory minimum of 2.25 years in prison. Depending on the nature of your prior charges, your prison term may be as lengthy as 15 years.

You Need an Experienced Attorney

Class 4 felony drug charges will negatively impact the rest of your life. You should never take your chances or count on an overworked public defender to adequately represent you in court. Public defenders have very difficult jobs, and they’re often unable to commit the amount of time it takes to thoroughly scrutinize a case and advocate for the best possible outcome.

Elias Damianakos offers a unique perspective. As a former Arizona prosecutor, he understands how both sides of the system works. Our law firm works to aggressively defend individuals charged with crimes like the possession of psilocybin. The sooner you call for your free consultation, the sooner we can begin to prepare an aggressive and effective defense for you.

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