Assuming we're in portugal where drugs are decriminalized or in a Torah law society (So not taking into account Dina D'malchusa), what are the halakhic considerations regarding consuming psychedelic mushrooms? The reason I ask my question is because I saw this question about smoking marijuana and I believe that many of the factors that motivated Rav Moshe's teshuva cited in the answer prohibiting marijuana are not relevant to mushrooms.

Could they be permitted for medicinal purposes? Psychedelic mushrooms been used in many psychological treatments, as well as a known cure for cluster headaches. See www.clusterbusters.org

Could they be permitted for recreational use, considering the facts that they are non-addictive and nearly impossible to overdose on.

Mushrooms release chemicals in your brain, mainly serotonin. A typical trip lasts 4 hours. After the trip is done you can continue to take mushrooms but they have no effect as all of the available serotonin has been released. It takes 5-7 day to replenish your serotonin so you could only trip about once a week. You could take them every day if you wanted to but you would have no psychotropic effect from them until you gave it a rest for about a week. Most of this is anecdotal as the government has made this a schedule 1 drug. But if you search the web you'll find a zillion sites that state this. Most of them say only about once a month or twice a month works. But it's really about a week. Here's a site but there are many more. http://www.psychonaut.com/mushrooms/26445-waiting-period-between-2-trips.html

After a certain amount the drug psilocybin which is the active ingredient doesn't do anything to you because you've released all of your serotonin. The mechanism is more complicated then what I'm describing but this should suffice. LD50 is the amount of a drug that is required to cause death. The LD50 of Psilocybin is about a pound, but that's the active ingredient and there's only a small amount of the drug in a mushroom. They estimate to achieve the LD50 you'd have to eat from 6 pounds to more than your bodyweight in mushrooms(depends on potency, but I'd bet it's a lot more than 6 pounds), which is impossible to do. Again there are many sites that discuss the LD50 of mushrooms. Here's one. http://www.psychonaut.com/mushrooms/26445-waiting-period-between-2-trips.html

Also please don't respond that all intoxicants are not permissible, as alcohol is an intoxicant and is permissible to drink. It's even suggested to get drunk on holidays such as Purim and I've seen a few Rabbis shikered on Simchas Torah as well!

  • One(of many, no doubt) reason that entheogenic fungi might be non-permissible is that they have religious sacramental use for some groups of people, and that eating them might be the equivalent of eating the Eucharist--definitely "a custom of the Gentiles".
    – Gary
    Jan 7, 2016 at 14:32
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    @Gary I'm not aware of a known religious custom particular to this mushroom. But assuming there is one, even if that's not your intent, just because Catholics use a piece of matzah doesn't mean we don't, just cause they use wine doesn't mean we don't, or because they have christmas trees I can't have an evergreen growing in my front yard.
    – JMFB
    Jan 7, 2016 at 15:12
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    @JMFB You may or may not be right, but on Mi Yodeya we don't editorialize or attempt to determine whether a posek is correct or not. We want questions that have verifiable answers.
    – Daniel
    Jan 7, 2016 at 15:19
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    @IsaacMoses How's this? @ JMFB Could you add a source that mushrooms are not addictive? You claim that it's impossible to trip more than once every week or so, but that on its own doesn't mean that they're not addictive.
    – Daniel
    Jan 7, 2016 at 15:33
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    Also @JMFB It would be good if you could add why you think the reasoning of Rav Moshe doesn't apply to mushrooms.
    – Daniel
    Jan 7, 2016 at 15:35


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