More than a quarter of Americans have tripped on psychedelics at least once, and over half support researching psychedelic medicine for veterans, a new poll reports.
Earlier this month, YouGov asked 1,000 random adult Americans to share their opinions about seven popular psychedelic drugs – LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, mescaline, ketamine, DMT, and salvia. Out of all respondents, 28% admitted to having used one or more of these drugs at least once in their lifetime. LSD was the most popular drug on the list, used by 14% of respondents, but psilocybin was close behind at 13%. Fewer than one in ten Americans said they had used MDMA (9%), mescaline (8%), ketamine (6%), DMT (6%), or salvia (5%).
YouGov also reports that wealthier, more liberal, and more educated Americans were the most common users of psychedelics. Out of all demographics, liberal people were the most likely (52%) to have tried psychedelics at least once. People with postdoctorate degrees or family incomes of over $100,000 were next most likely (42% each), followed by 30-to-44-year olds (39%) and people living in the Western US (37%).
Americans over the age of 65 and Black people of any age were the least likely (14% each) to admit to tripping out. About 19% of Protestants and residents of rural areas have tried psychedelics, as have about 21 percent of conservatives, Midwestern residents, and people who do not identify with any specific religion. Women were also less likely (22%) to say they had tripped than men (34%).
Many of those who have used these psychedelics hope to see them become legal. More than two-thirds of psilocybin users (68%) said shrooms should be totally legal, 48% of MDMA users support ecstasy legalization, and 43% of LSD users favor legal acid. Most Americans still oppose psychedelics decriminalization, though. Just over half (53%) of respondents said they think LSD or MDMA should remain illegal, and 44% said they oppose psilocybin decriminalization.
These findings are bad news for advocates who are campaigning to place psychedelics decriminalization and legalization initiatives on city and state election ballots this year. Colorado voters will have a chance to legalize the sale and use of most psychedelics this fall, and California might get a shot at voting on psychedelic legalization. Dozens of US cities have also decriminalized psychedelics on the local level, and more will vote on doing so this year. So far, Oregon is the only state to legalize psychedelics on a statewide level, but it only allows psilocybin to be used under strict supervision of a therapist.
The medicinal use of psychedelics is definitely enjoying more support than recreational use. A solid 54% of Americans believe that the US government should research how psychedelic medicine could help treat military service members suffering from PTSD. Again, people who had actually used psychedelics themselves were far more likely (71%) to support this important research than those who haven't (47%).