Three in Five Americans Support Psychedelic Therapy Legalization, Poll Finds

A recent poll by UC Berkeley’s Center for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP) has revealed that a majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing psychedelic therapy. The first-ever poll of its kind, the UC Berkeley survey found that almost one-half of Americans believe that regulators should also decriminalize the recreational use of psychedelics.

The Center for the Science of Psychedelics presented the survey’s findings at the Psychedelic Science 2023 conference in Denver, Colorado. Psychedelics are predicted to play a significant role in the psychiatric industry over the next couple of decades. An increasing number of studies have found that psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, MDMA and ayahuasca can offer long-term relief against various mental disorders with minimal negative side effects.

As there is a general consensus that conventional mental health treatments simply aren’t working for the majority of the population, there has been significant interest in psychedelic-assisted therapies. Several lawmakers across the country are moving to either legalize or decriminalize psychedelics, with cities such as Denver setting the stage by decriminalizing certain psychedelics.

BCSP’s new poll now shows that a large portion of the public also supports decriminalizing psychedelics and allowing both therapeutic and recreational use. According to the survey, 61% of Americans support the creation of a “regulated legal framework” for medical psychedelic use, with 35% being strongly in favor of such a framework. The survey showed that 34% of the survey participants opposed legalizing therapeutic psychedelics while 5% were unsure.

Another 49% were in favor of completely getting rid of criminal penalties for the possession and use of entheogenic fungi and plants. Furthermore, 56% said they supported a legalization model where therapeutic psychedelics were approved by the FDA and prescribed by doctors, 38% opposed such a model, and 6% were unsure. The survey also revealed that 78%, or four in five, of Americans supported policies that would make it easier for scientists to study psychedelics.

According to BCSP executive director Imran Khan, the poll represents the first clear look into American thoughts and feelings on psychedelic substances. He said that the study highlighted psychedelic interest and support in a majority of the American population. The public wants a regulated market that eliminates barriers to psychedelic research and grants access to therapeutic psychedelics.

Khan also noted that it is important that policymakers, physicians and researchers alike know and react to public opinions on psychedelics, especially with all the stigma and hype surrounding them. BCSP will release the Berkely Psychedelics Survey results in full over the following weeks.

This growing interest in psychedelics in the general population is undoubtedly connected to the headway that numerous enterprises such as Seelos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SEEL) have made in their quest to commercialize psychedelics treatments.

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