More than 60% of Americans support legalizing psychedelic therapy
More than 60 percent of Americans support legalizing access to regulated therapeutic psychedelics, according to a new poll. The Berkeley Psychedelics Survey, conducted by the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP), polled 1,500 registered voters in the United States from June 9-15, 2023.
Of those surveyed, 49 percent indicated support for the removal of criminal penalties associated with the personal use of psychedelics. More than three-quarters of voters say that it should be easier for scientists to access psychedelics for research purposes.
“This is the first clear picture we have of what the American public think and feel about psychedelics,” said BCSP executive director Imran Khan, in a press release sent to GreenState. “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.”
The full results of the Berkeley Psychedelics Survey will be released on July 12 during an online briefing from BCSP co-founder and best-selling author Michael Pollan, along with Imran Khan and survey project lead Taylor West.
A similar poll, conducted earlier this year by Breakthrough Bulletin, correlates with the BPS findings. That survey of 1,704 voters nationally also indicated that around six-in-ten Americans support legal psychedelic therapy.
Both polls highlight a shift in perceptions around psychedelic medicine in America. As the country faces continued mental health and addiction epidemics, entheogenic compounds could potentially offer relief.
“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,” Khan said.
The news comes ahead of the Psychedelic Science 2023 conference taking place in Denver this week. A preview of the survey will be presented on the first day of the event.
The Psychedelic Science 2023 conference, presented by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, is on track to be the largest event of its kind to date. The event will attract thousands of academics, activists, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts to the Mile High City for a week of conversation, cutting-edge research updates, and integration.