Most Christians say no to legalizing marijuana
While more states consider legalizing recreational marijuana and public opinion moves in favor of legalization, one group of Americans still stands largely opposed: Christians. That’s according to a new study from Barna Group, which looked at changing attitudes among a variety of groups.
Currently, Washington state and Colorado are the only states where marijuana is legal for recreational purposes; however, many other states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes and legalization efforts for recreational use have gained steam in other states.
Overall, the study found that 58% of Americans “favor legalizing marijuana for recreational or other use.” Christians and those over 64 years of age are the only groups in the study who still oppose legalization.
Among practicing Christians, 32% of non-mainline Protestants favor legalization, while 39% of practicing Catholics and 45% of practicing mainline Protestants favor it.
Even though practicing believers still oppose legalizing marijuana as a whole, the numbers have shifted over the years in terms of how Christians view it morally.
“Those who believe pot is morally acceptable are still in the minority, but the current numbers represent a significant increase over the past decade,” the study reports. “In 2001, Barna Group asked practicing Protestants and Catholics if they believed non-medical use of marijuana was morally acceptable. Just 9% of Protestants approved, compared with 19% in 2014; 17% of Catholics approved in 2001, compared with 33% today. The general population has shifted, as well. In 2001, 25% of adults said non-medical pot was morally acceptable; by 2014, that proportion increased to 47%.”