The Center for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP) at UC Berkeley surveyed U.S. registered voters regarding their opinion on psychedelics legalization and decriminalization. The results of this first-ever survey were presented by BCSP Executive Director Imran Khan and project lead Taylor West at Psychedelic Science 2023—a major psychedelics conference in Denver—where top advocates, researchers, and Colorado’s Governor all spoke about the rapidly evolving policy landscape around psychedelic substances.
The findings from this groundbreaking poll demonstrate how far public discourse has come on psychedelics regulation – with the majority of American voters expressing support for creating legal frameworks for therapeutic use, removing criminal penalties for personal use, as well as making it easier for researchers to study psychedelics.
Results from the Berkeley Psychedelics Survey
The Berkeley Psychedelics Survey revealed that 61 percent of U.S. registered voters support “creating a regulated legal framework for the therapeutic use of psychedelics,” including 35 percent strongly supporting it. Additionally, 49 percent of respondents said they are back removing criminal penalties for using and personally possessing entheogenic plants and fungi all together.
Furthermore, 56 percent said they support a model where psychedelics would need to be approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and prescribed by physicians; 38 percent are opposed, and six percent are unsure. Lastly, 78 percent of Americans expressed their support for “making it easier for researchers to study psychedelic substances.”
These results demonstrate clear majority support in the U.S. for creating legal frameworks, decriminalizing psychedelics, and making it easier for researchers to study them. This provides an optimistic outlook for psychedelic policy reform in the U.S., even if the survey was conducted among those who may have been biased toward supporting these initiatives.
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.
Implications for the Future: How This Survey Can Inform Policymakers and Practitioners
The results of the Berkeley Psychedelics Survey can provide valuable insight into how policymakers and practitioners should approach psychedelic reform moving forward. The widespread support expressed by American voters reflects their interest in having regulated access to therapeutic psychedelics and removing criminal penalties for personal use.
Furthermore, the survey’s findings demonstrate a clear majority support for making it easier for researchers to study psychedelic substances. This could provide an impetus for legislators to pass laws that make it easier and less expensive to conduct research on psychedelics and to fund more research initiatives.
The Berkeley Psychedelics Survey also serves as a reminder of how far the public discourse has come on psychedelics legalization and decriminalization in recent years. As more data demonstrate the potential therapeutic benefits of these substances, this survey suggests that Americans are open to creating legal frameworks and removing criminal penalties for personal use so that they can safely access them for therapeutic purposes.
These findings demonstrate how far the public discourse has come on psychedelics reform in recent years – from being a fringe issue to becoming a mainstream topic worthy of serious consideration.
As more data continues to emerge demonstrating the potential therapeutic benefits of these substances, it is clear that Americans are open to creating legal frameworks and removing criminal penalties so that they can safely access them for medicinal purposes. This survey provides an optimistic outlook for psychedelic policy reform in the U.S. as we move forward into the future.
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