Poll Shows Growing Support for Marijuana Legalization Among ChristiansBy Thomas H. Clarke April 28, 2013
"And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good." -- Genesis 1:12
WASHINGTON, DC — A new poll released Thursday shows a growing support for marijuana legalization from Christians, including a majority of Christian youths who say “legalize it.” The same poll also found that the majority of Americans, including those from all major religious affiliations and political parties, favor the legalization of medical marijuana.
The poll conducted by Public Religion Institute/Religion News Survey found that half of Christians polled aged 18-29 said they either “favor” or “strongly favor” marijuana legalization. In comparison, 45% of those polled in the 50-64 age group were in favor of marijuana legalization, while only 28% of those 65 or older support marijuana legalization.
The poll also found that having previously tried marijuana – or not – was a factor in the responses. Of those who said they had previously tried marijuana, 65% were in favor of legalization. Likewise, of those polled who had never tried marijuana, 65% were opposed to marijuana legalization.
There are significant religious differences in usage of marijuana. Catholics (33%) are the only religious group surveyed that is significantly less likely than the general public to report having tried marijuana. About 4-in-10 white evangelical Protestants (40%) and white mainline Protestants (44%), along with a majorities of minority Christians (52%) and religiously unaffiliated Americans (54%) report having tried marijuana at some point in their lives.
Less than 23% of those surveyed believe that using marijuana is a sin, and only 20% believe that marijuana consumption is prohibited by the bible.
The poll found considerably more support for legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, with 63% of those who said “no” to marijuana legalization saying they would be in favor of legalizing medical marijuana to treat certain medical conditions if recommended by a doctor. Only 19% of those polled opposed the legalization of medical marijuana.
The poll concluded that majorities of all major religious groups and political parties favor the legalization of medical marijuana.