Poll shows 80% of Canadians believe psilocybin mushrooms should be legal for medical purposes


Victoria, BC (January 24rd, 2023) – TheraPsil, a non-profit coalition based in Victoria, BC, recently conducted a poll in collaboration with Pollara to gauge public opinion on the legalization of psilocybin (the psychoactive component of “magic” mushrooms) for medical use in Canada. The poll surveyed 1,556 adults from all demographics and regions of the country. 


Mental illness and substance use disorders are the leading causes of disability in Canada, affecting one in five Canadians and costing over $90 billion per year in healthcare costs, lost productivity, and reduced health-related quality of life. Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy, which involves the professionally guided use of psilocybin in combination with psychotherapy, has the potential to address these issues.


The poll found that 80% of respondents either approved or were ambivalent about the legalization of psilocybin for medical purposes, with the highest levels of support coming in the cases of terminal illness, depression, anxiety and PTSD. Support was also strong for the use of psilocybin in the treatment of chronic pain. These results show a huge jump in approval from 2021, which saw 66% approval amongst respondents.  


TheraPsil CEO Spencer Hawkswell:

This jump in approval suggests that Canadians have made their decision.  We’ve been through this with cannabis, where polling showed over 80% support while black market dispensaries were openly selling cannabis in cities. We’re at the same place with psilocybin, as dispensaries are selling products while patients are in court seeking medical access. I hope that Carolyn Bennett, the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, acts soon to regulate these dispensaries and medical access, and to end the court cases in order to keep up with the will of Canadians who don’t want to see patients fighting for their medicine.


Patients who have undergone psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy have reported life-changing results, with many experiencing significant improvements in their mental health and overall quality of life. 


TheraPsil’s Project Delivery Manager James Bunn had this to say: 

Over the past decade, psilocybin has continued to garner more support as scientific research demonstrating both its safety and efficacy increases. 

Hidden amongst the data indicating public support, is patient need. There are thousands of Canadians that could benefit from psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy, however, the current regulations are preventing these people from accessing the care that they need. 

Currently, psilocybin is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance in Canada, meaning it has a higher-than-average potential for abuse and is prohibited for all uses unless accessed through a clinical trial or authorized by Health Canada. TheraPsil is dedicated to helping Canadians in medical need access legal, psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy and is calling for reconsideration of the current restrictions on psilocybin. 


Read the full poll report here.


Media contact

John Gilchrist


All other inquiries

Spencer Hawkswell, CEO, TheraPsil


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