By / May 10, 2024

American Adults Positively Rate Experiences with Cannabis and Psychedelics

In a recent survey conducted by YouGov, a majority of American adults reported positive experiences with cannabis and psychedelics such as psilocybin, LSD, and MDMA. The study, conducted from April 25-28, 2024, involved 1,134 adult U.S. citizens and provided fascinating insights into both experiences with these substances and their impact on social attitudes towards legalization.

These findings shed light on the shifting perception of these substances, which have been surrounded by controversy and negative stereotypes for decades. Analyzing these trends and their consequences can contribute to a deeper understanding of the growing acceptance of both cannabis and psychedelic substances in American society.

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Growing Acceptance of Cannabis and Psychedelics

For many years, cannabis and psychedelics were demonized in American culture and legislation, often portrayed as dangerous substances leading to severe addiction and health problems. Since the 1960s, when the counterculture promoted experimenting with LSD and other psychedelics, this narrative began to evolve. However, only in recent decades has there been a significant change in social and political attitudes.

According to the results of the YouGov survey, 57% of cannabis users describe their experiences as mainly positive. Similarly, 65% of those who tried psilocybin had positive memories associated with its use. LSD and MDMA also gained significant recognition, with 55% and 56% of users noting predominantly positive experiences. Importantly, the study highlights that regular use of these substances is quite common, suggesting their significant role in the lives of many Americans.

A significant role in changing perceptions is played by increasing access to reliable information and scientific research on the benefits of using cannabis and psychedelics, such as their potential therapeutic effects in treating PTSD, depression, and chronic pain. Education on responsible and conscious use of these substances has also contributed to reducing stigmatization and building a more balanced narrative around them.

Review of Support for Cannabis and Psychedelics Legalization

The YouGov survey revealed significant support among Americans for the legalization of cannabis; 60% of respondents supported its legalization, while support for the legalization of psilocybin, MDMA, and LSD was considerably lower, at 27%, 16%, and 15%, respectively. It is worth noting that support for legalization significantly increased among those who had direct experiences with these substances.

For example, 78% of cannabis users supported its legalization, while the rates for psilocybin and MDMA were 63% and 55%, respectively. In the case of LSD, 38% of users supported legalization, which is an exception, as 43% were against it. These results show how direct experiences can influence attitudes towards drug policy, suggesting that personal experiences can reduce concerns associated with using these substances.

Perspectives and Future Directions

Research on the potential health benefits of using cannabis and psychedelics is gaining importance, with an increasing number of evidence on their effectiveness in treating conditions such as chronic pain, depression, and PTSD. Simultaneously, there is growing scientific and regulatory interest in these substances, reflected in legal initiatives aimed at changing the classification of cannabis to a less restrictive category.

For instance, there are proposals to move cannabis to Schedule III, which would significantly ease current restrictions. Psilocybin and other psychedelics are also becoming the subject of intense scientific research aimed at better understanding their therapeutic potential.


The latest YouGov survey shows growing acceptance and positive experiences associated with cannabis and psychedelics among American adults. Most users describe their experiences as positive and support the legalization of these substances, which could have long-lasting consequences for future drug policy. In light of these results, it is important to continue education and open discussion about these substances so that society can make informed decisions based on solid scientific evidence.

(Featured image by Lukas via Pexels)

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