Poll: 61% of Americans Support Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy

New polling from the University of California shows that a substantial majority of adults in the United States support legalizing psychedelic therapy.

The poll was published online last week and was presented at the  Psychedelic Science 2023 Conference in Denver, Colorado.

“More than six out of 10 (61%) American registered voters support legalizing regulated therapeutic access to psychedelics, including 35% who report ‘strong’ support,” states a press release. “In addition, more than three-quarters of voters (78%) support making it easier for researchers to study psychedelic substances. Almost half (49%) support removing criminal penalties for personal use and possession.”

The findings are “the first data from a new longitudinal public opinion research project at the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP), intended to track evolving public beliefs and understanding about psychedelic compounds as research, policy, and cultural events shine a growing spotlight on the field.”

BCSP’s executive director, Imran Khan, said:

“This is the first clear picture we have of what the American public think and feel about psychedelics. The Berkeley Psychedelics Survey shows that the majority of American voters are interested in, and supportive of, the field. They want fewer barriers to research for scientists, and they want regulated, therapeutic access for the public.

Amidst all the stigma and the hype about these powerful substances, it’s vital that researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners can understand and respond to the public’s hopes and fears. We’re excited to reveal the full results of the Berkeley Psychedelics Survey in the coming weeks.”

The full results of the Berkeley Psychedelics Survey will be released on July 12 at an online briefing and presentation from author and BCSP co-founder Michael Pollan, alongside Imran Khan and Taylor West.

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