New National Poll: More Than 60 Percent of U.S. Voters Support Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy

UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics Previews Results of the First-Ever Berkeley Psychedelics Survey at Psychedelic Science 2023 Conference in Denver

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

These remarkable results are the preview highlights from the first-ever Berkeley Psychedelics Survey, a new national benchmark poll tracking public perceptions and attitudes about psychedelics. 

graphic showing two pie charts, one about support/opposition for regulated legalization around psychedelics, one about support/opposition for medicalization of psychedelics

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.”

BCSP executive director Imran Khan and Berkeley Psychedelics Survey project lead Taylor West presented the preview findings at Psychedelic Science 2023, the landmark psychedelics conference taking place in Denver.

Imran Khan and Taylor West present at the the Psychedelic Science 2023 Conference
Taylor West and Imran Khan present at the Psychedelic Science 2023 Conference (credit Meredith Turk)

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. 

Register for the Berkeley Psychedelics Survey’s inaugural results and briefing with Michael Pollan here.

photo of Michael Pollan
Michael Pollan
photo of Imran Khan
Imran Khan
photo of Taylor West
Taylor West