Half of Young Adult Christians Want to See Marijuana Legalized

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Fifty percent of Christians aged 18–29 said they favor legalizing recreational marijuana use, and 45 percent of the young Christians surveyed said they have tried marijuana.

Results of a new survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute show that 50 percent of Christians aged 18–29 said they “favor” or “strongly favor” legalizing recreational marijuana use. When you consider all Christians, though, 54 percent are against legalization while 39 percent support it.

Even so, 45 percent of young Christians surveyed said they had previously tried marijuana. The report showed that “nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of all Americans who report they have ever tried marijuana support legalizing marijuana. While an identical number (65 percent) of Americans who report that they have not tried marijuana oppose its legalization.”

As an article in the CNN Belief Blog stated, “Seventy percent of Americans said that recreational use of marijuana is not a sin, compared to 23 percent who said they believe using the drug is sinning. While most religious groups follow this trend, according to the poll, white evangelical Protestants are the most divided group, with 40 percent indicating using marijuana is a sin and 48% saying it is not.”

These results have led poll organizers to believe marijuana use will continue to gain more acceptance in the coming years. “Much like same sex marriage, what we are seeing here is generational replacement,” said Robert P. Jones, CEO of PRRI. “As more young Christians come to adulthood, they bring with them different experience and views.”

Recreational use of marijuana was legalized in Colorado and Washington in 2012, and the state of Oregon voted to keep it legal.

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  • patsi ringsdorf

    I support medicinal marijuana. It has been proven to help many different medical conditions. And at least we do know the product & its dangers,whereas we are ignorant to trust the pharmaceutical companys products that have proven numerous times that their products can be very deathly. Notice all the lawsuits against these products? When u are undergoing harsh treatments and/or enduring constant pain & you might change your minds about what can be medicinal. Thanks,God bless.

  • Andy

    I never thought I’d say this, but I also support the legalization of medical marijuana. I grew up in a conservative home where drugs were not a part of my life. I was never even peer pressured into trying any type of drug or alcohol. I have never tried it and I have zero desire to try it. But, I know some people who have serious, life-threatening health issues. They reached the point of hoping they would die because their physical pain was unbearable. Marijuana saved their life when nothing else worked. I just wish people would use it responsibly, and because so many don’t, I can see why some want to keep it illegal.

  • Herbert H. Brown

    When you start to compromise Gods laws, and basic Bible principals you are truly headed for disaster! Wheather it is same-sex marriage, cross dressing, or recreational use of a municipal herb (other than for medical use) you are skating on Gods thin ice! This is a huge controversy in the church today. This cannot be compared to the acceptence of Gay & Lesbian lifestyles within the church. There is a great deception that has been unveiled in this area. Gay and Lesbian church members are getting married, and establishing heterosexual lifestyles as a cover up to their homosexual urges. Now I realize this is slightly off the main topic; however, using Marijuana will be left up to each individual on their own convictions.

  • Terri Knoll

    So do a lot of older Christians, like me. We have lost the war on drugs. Millions of people in prison, terrible Mexican cartels and murders. You are delusional if you think keeping it illegal is the “Christian” thing to do. Legalize it, tax it and get over it.

    • Mike48

      So for the next step we allow the cartels, the prisoners and the drug runners start dictating that we legalize OTC cocaine or heroin (both of which have legal medical uses). Do we then let the cartel dictate what our Christian doctrine will and will not allow? Being Christian requires that we do not conform to the world…and here you are advocating that we do just that…succumb to pressure from the enemy.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1031481427 Earl Click

        Mike if the drug is legalized the cartels get nothing. Its the cartels and the bankers who launder the money, support the legislation against the drug and the war in the media against it who want it to stay illegal. Google Wells Fargo and Wachovia drug laundry to find out who is making the money and you will understand who is fighting its legalization.

  • DavidT

    This tells us just as much about Christian parents and Churches and Youth Groups of the past 20 yrs as it does about about Christians 18-29.

  • PSC502

    The real problem is they are constantly bombarded with a message from society that this is ok and not a big deal. Paul said that basically “not all things are profitable for me” that’s the real question here and can pot use actually be done in a safe way. Think do you want a high doctor operating on you, or pilot flying your plane? If everybody just drank at home there would be no drunk driving, BUT instead millions have died! Want the person next to you on the highway high? Yeah that’s what I thought.

  • http://twitter.com/epop1950 Priscilla Jones

    Yes they need to legalization marijuana, they can’t seen to stop it no the way, The Gov may as well tax it and the Money.will be use for something

  • a concerned citizen

    I am a Christian and a drug and alcohol therapist. Marijuana is very harmful. Not because it is a gateway drug. It is harmful because it impairs your thinking and emotions. Perception about how well you can do a task (such as driving or flying an airplane) is impaired. Not just when taking the drug, but also after you come off of it. People think that they are driving or flying well when objectively they are doing very poorly. And marijuana kills motivation. People basically decide that effort is not worth it. They have a low tolerance for frustration and will not even attempt tasks that might be a little bit difficult. It makes people not care about anything. How convenient. Legalize a drug that will keep the masses happy and not caring if they lose their liberties and become slaves to the state. This is a mind altering and emotion altering drug. And it is in a more potent form now than in the 1960s and 1070s.

  • a concerned citizen

    We are losing the war on drugs because we need an Awakening to God and His salvation. There might be marijuana out there, but there is no market for it among those who do not want to use it or those who daily in their recovery choose not to use it. People need to be changed n their hearts and their minds. If they are turning to a drug to feel ok or feel better, they are making the drug a god. Look at the 12 Steps of NA or AA. This is not recreation. As for physical pain, there are other better medications.( And there is supernatural healing from God.) Instead, marijuana is a self medication,not for physical problems, but for emotional and spiritual problems.

    The way to win the war on drugs is not to stop the Supply of drugs, but to stop the Demand of them. People don’t need marijuana to be decriminalized, instead, they need Jesus.

    Now is not the time to give in to society, but to stand up for the truth. Don’t be conformed to the pattern of this world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind in Christ Jesus.

    May God help those struggling with a lure of this drug. But, you don’t have to battle this alone, get help. Don’t let this drug become the center of your life.

    I have listed two references here: The 12 Steps of Narcotics Anonymous and

    Romans 12:1.

    The 12 Steps of Narcotics Anonymous

    How it works

    If you want what we have
    to offer, and are willing to make the effort to get it, then you are
    ready to take certain steps. These are the principles that made our
    recovery possible.

    1. We admitted
    that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become

    2. We came
    to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to

    3. We made
    a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God
    as we understood Him.

    4. We made
    a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

    5. We admitted
    to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature
    of our wrongs.

    6. We were
    entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

    7. We humbly
    asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

    8. We made
    a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends
    to them all.

    9. We made
    direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do
    so would injure them or others.

    10. We continued
    to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted

    11. We sought
    through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with
    God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for
    us and the power to carry that out.

    12. Having
    had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to
    carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in
    all our affairs.

    This sounds
    like a big order, and we can’t do it all at once. We didn’t become
    addicted in one day, so remember—easy does it.

    There is
    one thing more than anything else that will defeat us in our recovery;
    this is an attitude of indifference or intolerance toward spiritual
    principles. Three of these that are indispensable are honesty, open-mindedness,
    and willingness. With these we are well on our way.

    We feel that
    our approach to the disease of addiction is completely realistic,
    for the therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without
    parallel. We feel that our way is practical, for one addict can best
    understand and help another addict. We believe that the sooner we
    face our problems within our society, in everyday living, just that
    much faster do we become acceptable, responsible, and productive members
    of that society.

    The only
    way to keep from returning to active addiction is not to take that
    first drug. If you are like us you know that one is too many and a
    thousand never enough. We put great emphasis on this, for we know
    that when we use drugs in any form, or substitute one for another,
    we release our addiction all over again.

    Thinking of
    alcohol as different from other drugs has caused a great many addicts
    to relapse. Before we came to NA, many of us viewed alcohol separately,
    but we cannot afford to be confused about this. Alcohol is a drug.
    We are people with the disease of addiction who must abstain from
    all drugs in order to recover.

    Romans 12:1

    New International Version (NIV)

    A Living Sacrifice

    12 Therefore,
    I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies
    as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper
    worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his
    good, pleasing and perfect will

    • Anonymous

      What are your thoughts on coffee and other caffeinated beverages? The medical community has shown that this drug (and it is a drug let’s not be deceived) has mild psychoactive effects. Yet many Christians consume this drug (while even having it offered to them at church!) on a wide scale and see nothing wrong with it. It is legal, and because of that the coffee/caffeinated beverage industry has become one of the largest drug pushers on the planet. If we are going to criticize Marijuana on the basis that it is a drug that people go to in order that they may “feel ok or feel better” should we likewise criticize coffee and other caffeinated beverages on the same basis if they are “making the drug a god?”

  • cb

    Hmmmm. Marijuana…lots of spiritual liabilities associated with this or any of the “consciousness-expanding/affecting” drugs. Open door for Satanic influence.

  • Danny b

    Take it from a new Christian (2 years nearly), this is a dangerous drug and not a soft alternative like the world tries to paint it. I was hooked for most of my life and praise God that Jesus finally set me free. I knew that for what ever reason, the enemy used this to keep me from God and it made me guilty and I felt like a hypocrite to even approach the Lord. I finally realized one day that I couldn’t free myself and this is why I needed Jesus and the power of what He did for me on the cross. I’m not saying that my life is perfect now but everyday I grow in the truth of God and I aint never going back, He told me that no one can steal me from His hand and I believe Him!!
    Life has never been more fulfilling than now that I know my Father and I realize more and more the fullness of what He did on the cross for me.
    Please brothers, read God’s word, believe it, apply it and let us stop trying to compromise it and water it down to suite the world, it is all we can rely on and God will bless us for it.
    God bless and I pray that more of our young will not fall into the bondage that I and others have endured.
    Yours in Christ….Danny (Australia)

  • MattK

    When did we decide to become more dependant on drugs for pain and healing over God himself? If we beleive that his kingdom is here, than we should also beleive there is no sickness in his kingdom. Gods healing is far more powerful. Come on people give your head a shake!!

    • anonymous

      Let’s talk hypothetically for a moment. Imagine you are a cancer patient and there is a new trial drug that has been developed to slow the process and even significantly reduce the effects of your cancer. Do you take the drug? Or do you tell the doctor, “No thank you, God is going to heal me.” I’m reminded of a story of a man who was stranded on the top of his house during a flood. Many times the rescuers came to him and offered salvation yet he refused every time until it was too late by saying, “Go away, I don’t need your help. God will save me!” This story reminds us that sometimes God uses man and the talents He has given us to prevent and hinder the process of suffering in the world. Does this mean we go to the other extreme of living a faithless experience? Absolutely not. We continuously pray for deliverance while believing that God is able. Sometimes He is not always willing. Just talk to any Christian who has lost a child or loved one due to sickness. The problem of pain and suffering is indeed complex! But the answer is always found in the Bible.

      So let’s talk Biblically for a moment. You said we should believe that if, “his kingdom is here, then we should also believe there is no sickness in his kingdom.” Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:23-26 that the firstfruits of the resurrection is Christ and after Him those who are Christ’s at His coming. Paul also tells us that the last enemy to be abolished is death. This begs the question of why there is still death in the world if Christ’s kingdom is already here. The answer lies in the ultimate establishment of His kingdom at the second coming. Read Revelation 21 in its entirety. Yes, Christ’s kingdom is here in the sense that it is represented by His followers who seek to bring others into His kingdom as believers. Paul brings the reality of the body of Christ to us just before he discusses the enemy of death and its end (chapter 15) in 1 Corinthians 12. But let’s not think that this is an excuse to practice faithless lives but rather enable us to focus our sight on the glorious coming of Jesus Christ while doing what we can on this earth to relieve pain and suffering until He comes.

      Grace and Peace

  • Samson

    Even though America in both side of lifelike they are the model to entire world.(Both Christiians and seculars) Now the Wall of FAITH. that God the Almighty has used them built, the Devil is using them now to pull it down. What a pity.

  • Pastor Philip, NY

    Since when we started God’s standard of keeping our body as a temple of the Holy Spirit based on public opinions ? When we accept the ‘majority rules’ mind set to things if God, we might as well throw out the Bible.

  • Blessed58

    The wrong use of statistics. Christians are redeemed not perfect. The views of a particular group is not necessarily right even if they are a majority, instead we should be guided by the word. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, whatever we do to our body should always be in cognisance of this fact. For instance there is no where in the bible that Christians are told not to smoke but should we therefore be smokers? Those who are keen on legalising Marijuana are thinking of its use for “recreational purposes” not for medicinal.

  • Michael

    Proud supporter. Never tried the stuff.

  • John

    You know…I think that we as Christians have forgotten that our Lord can strengthen us through suffering….and that He is made perfect through our suffering

    That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (Philippians 3:10 KJV)

  • Pastor Gary

    Marijuana is a drug that must be sold by a Doctors Prescription ONLY. It has one medical use if used right. But these DOPE-HEADS want to grow it and use it to get HI, and they need to be put in a prison for illegal use of this drug.


    The bible clearly states that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Why on earth would a christian encourage legalizing of marijuana if they are not using it, and if they are using it, where do you place your body as a temple? It is just that people do not want to admit that the body wrestles with the spirit and when we fail to crucify the flesh, then it reigns upon our spirits demeaning the word of God. We should all understand that whatever we do that is as a result of satisfying an urge from our bodies that is not an essential should be weighed with the word of God it we are heading anywhere but to eternal destruction. Watch out Christians for we are living in the last days!

  • Godholypriest

    In the matter at hand, there is no ground of comparison between smoking marijuana and same sex marriage!

    The latter in a sin forcefully stated in God’s Word, while the former is left to subjectiveness according to one’s own conscience.

    PS: I personnally believe that the people that classified, prohibited and advertised Marijuana as an illegal substance did so to make huge profit from oil based product. Just consider it :D

  • Dustin, Christian, age 18 – 29

    It always surprises and saddens me how much hatred gets
    spewed in the comment following articles on controversial subjects. Thank
    God I’ve already given myself to Jesus otherwise many of your attitudes and
    spirits (by the way, what spirit is at work in you?) might cause me to miss the
    forest for the trees. Such talk among Christians is the reason Anne Rice
    and many like have said and will continue to say, “It’s
    simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile,
    disputatious, and deservedly infamous group.” Come on people!
    Learn to love! Where’s God’s grace at work within you? I’m not
    saying compromise your values, but exhibit gentleness and kindness when
    expressive them. After all, those are fruits of the Spirit of God.

    Admittedly, so is self-control which is why it’s important not to let
    any substance (food – especially sugar and MSG – and sex should be high on the
    watch-list by the way) be your master, for Christ alone is our Master.
    But here’s a wake-up call for you, if people don’t already believe that, then
    all the putdowns, judgmental statements and derogatory comments are going to
    keep them from entering the kingdom of God. Let them come as they are and
    then Jesus will take it from there. My goodness people get with the

    Also, the only Scriptural limitation placed on marijuana that doesn’t
    apply equally to sugar, MSG and other flavor additives, alcohol, coffee and
    other caffeinated beverages, tobacco, and whatever else one might put in their
    body for the pleasure of it is that the law of the land prohibits it. A
    basic New Testament principle is to obey the laws of your country unless of
    course they don’t accord with God’s will, such as slavery or genocide.
    Here’s the thing about that. We live in a country where laws are dynamic
    and changing and able to change. Marijuana was criminalized because the
    cheap production of the superior hemp crop jeopardized the wealth of newspaper
    tycoons. Because of this law which served to benefit the rich at the
    expense of the poor (something God hates) many nonviolent drug offender share
    living quarters with rapists and murders. That makes a whole lot of
    sense, doesn’t it?

    Here’s a thought. Instead of using our nations limited resources
    to prosecute these offenders and then feed, house and cloth them while they are
    unable to contribute anything to society in return as a result of their incarceration,
    why don’t we use that money to build and develop drug and alcohol treatment
    programs which currently are in short supply, high demand, and cost as much as
    a year of college tuition which the majority of addicts cannot afford, neither
    could they even if they were healthy and fit for optimal service because their socioeconomic
    conditions wouldn’t allow them to do so.

    Instead of punishing marijuana use as a crime, let’s treat it as a
    disease. Legalizing it is not the same as condoning its use. It
    simply recognizes that punishment is not the solution. But so long as
    there are legal repercussions, the stigma will remain on the drug and its users
    will be shamed into secrecy and will not experience the safety and freedom
    necessary to admit openly that they have a problem. The security that
    comes with knowing one will be helped and not punished for bringing their
    problems into the open is crucial if it’s to happen without major incident such
    as a divorce, financial ruin, cancer or emphysema, a car accident, or yes, a
    year or more in prison.

  • register with Disqus

    you keep calling it a drug, and it’s an herb… grown in nature. I’m neutral on the issue myself, a former user, I have seen the harmlessness of it and don’t think it’s a big deal. It’s like anything else – you must be responsible. but just curious, what are God’s laws concerning this natural herb?

  • register with Disqus

    if our bodies are a temple, how many double-cheeseburgers do you all eat a week? how often do you exercise to stay healthy? how well do you take care of your skin? do you even think about that? marijuana is like anything else – it needs to be put in it’s proper place. don’t let anything run your life except the Lord. better yet, pursue the Lord with all your heart, and just maybe, you’ll stop thinking about how to please your flesh and get away with it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/donny.haynes.77 Donny Haynes

    The biblical answer is that we are not to allow anything including herbs, caffeine, or any substance or alcohol to affect our mind. The Word of God is clear that we are to guard and protect our mind as it is a gateway to the flesh and the world.

    • russ

      I don’t know if it would be wise to legalize but I do think you have to be creful on your interpretation. In light of the passage about being our bodies being the temple of the Spirit, would you argue Jesus never drank wine?… or the myth that it was always extremely watered down? Ask any historian if the wine of first century Palestine would have affected the mind. Jesus was never drunk because he never sinned but he was accused of being a drunkard, presumably because he was seen drinking.

  • wamukoota cephas francis

    Brethren. We have had wonderful pastors and friends in Uganda and I have personally sat under pastor Francis’ pulpit ministry in Kampala.

    We shall pray for America. It has also come to us here in Uganda. We too need your knees.

    Pastor Wamukoota Francis
    Mbale Community Church.
    +256 754 882250

  • Deana Callins

    How many sermons have you heard about the neccessity of baptism and the Benefits of it? Not many. Here is another strategy of the devil to keep people from knowing and understanding; The Power of Jesus Christ and their eternal heritage, that “Saves” our spirit and soul from him. It’s All about Jesus our Savior!!! How can you understand, except you have “Received” of the Holy Ghost. Spiritual things can only be perceived by having “The Spirit” of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding (which is Jesus Christ/The Holy Ghost. Mark 16:20 He that believes And Is Baptized Shall Be Saved.
    Luke 6:46-47 Why call me Lord, Lord, and “Do Not” the things which “I Say”? Whosoever come to me and “Hear” my sayings, and “Do” them, I will show you to whom ‘He is Like.
    The Holy Ghost prepares you to “Enter” Heaven. By giving you a “New” mind, body, and spirit. As a Gift, you Receive All Things; including Jesus Righteousness to “Enter” Heaven. The Holy Spirit continuoulsy cleanses your spirit and gives you the strength you need to overcome this world. As Jesus Overcame the world already. God Bless the Hearers & Receivers.