Are truffles really legal?

Lets get to the bottom of it


If you have come across truffles before then you have for sure have been confused about their legality at some point. Can you have an unlimited quantity ? Can you ship truffles abroad? Is it legal to take them to another country? We have got you covered, this guide explains the most common questions we get about the legal status of these underground powerhouses 

 

How come truffles are legal and mushrooms are not?

This question is the subject of many debates both in The Netherlands and Europe. To answer this question we start by looking at timeline of the legal status of fresh psilocybin truffles

  • 1971: The United Nations' Convention on Psychotropic Substances lists psilocybin as a controlled substance. However, it aims to regulate the substances themselves, not necessarily the organisms containing them.

Take away message: Psilocybin became a controlled substance but not plants that naturally contain them, this means you can legally have psilocybin truffles but not the psilocybin on its own 


Additionally, the convention grants individual member states the freedom to impose stricter restrictions on the possession and trade of psychoactive substances, as well as organisms in which they naturally occur.


  • 1998-2002: The Dutch Supreme Court rules that naturally occurring psychoactive substances, like those found in hallucinogenic mushrooms and truffles, aren't criminalized unless listed in the  Dutch Opium Act . Truffles are not in the opium act.

Take away message the key point here is  naturally occuring. Natural products not listed on the schedules of the Opium Act but containing naturally occurring prohibited psychoactive substances are  not banned . However, according to the Dutch Supreme Court, this changes when these natural products undergo any form of processing, including grinding, mixing, or active drying. The actively dried or otherwise processed psychoactive truffle became a prohibited product in the Netherlands with this judicial decision. Simply, you may have the raw truffle but you may not process it, it is illegal for any store in the Netherlands to sell processed psilocybin. 



  • 2008: Fresh psychoactive mushrooms are declared illegal in the Netherlands, and were added to the Dutch Opium Act. However, their underground truffles remain legal, as they are not explicitly banned under the Opium Act.



Take away message  While mushrooms and truffles both contain psilocybin they are scientifically recognised as different organisms. This allowed the truffle to stay legal even though the mushroom was made illegal.


  • 2009 & 2011: The Dutch Minister of Health confirms to the House of Representatives that truffles are not considered illegal under the Opium Act, reaffirming their legality.



Can you be punished for having truffles?

In criminal law, there is the so-called principle of legality, meaning that no act is punishable except by virtue of a preceding explicit criminalization. From this principle follows that a specific criminalization cannot be interpreted extensively by the court. Since it is generally scientifically accepted that the truffle, the sclerotium, is not a mushroom, this principle of legality implies that the truffle does not fall under the newly introduced prohibitions of the Opium Act in 2008.


Take away message  If you have truffles from The Netherlands in The Netherlands you cannot be punished in any way. 

Can I send truffles within the European Union?


Psilocybin truffles are not subject to the control of the Psychotropic Substances Convention, as described above, which means that member states are not obligated to criminalize it. However supreme courts of EU member states may overrule this and therefore the laws can vary country to country. 


We can recommend the  World Wide Psychedelic Tracker  by Psychedelic Alpha. Here you will find a comprehensive overview of the legality of truffles in Europe. The team at Psychedelic Alpha track these changes and the status of drug policy reform efforts across the globe, with a focus on psychedelics. The precise effect of these changes are varied: some involve decriminalizing possession and personal use of psychedelics (such as in Portugal), others allowing access to psychedelics for medicinal uses (such as in Canada), while a few are legalizing possession, use, cultivation and sale of specific psychedelics (such as in Jamaica).


While this is a great resource, we always recommend to do your own independent research and familiarise yourself with your local laws and regulations. 

How come When Nature Calls can send truffles outside of the Netherlands?

This is one of the most common questions we get. Take away message: truffles are 100% legal in the Netherlands, they are not on the Dutch Opium Act which means their possession cannot be criminalized in the Netherlands. This allows the psilocybe truffle to be exported freely from the Netherlands. However, the status of this product will need to be re-evaluated in the country where it is imported. The legal status may differ from country to country.


Our terms and conditions

For further information you can refer to article 19 of our terms and conditions.