Religion and Marijuana Legalization—420 Special

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Support for the legalization of marijuana has increased dramatically since the dark old days of Nancy Raygun’s “Just say No” and the 2014 GSS found for the first time that a majority of Americans, 56%, support legalization. And, who do you think has been left behind? It’s no surprise that Christian fundamentalists are the least supportive of legalizing marijuana, and that secular Americans who think the Bible is a book of fables are most supportive of legalization–and the difference is huge. But, that is only part of the story. Race plays a huge role, and while African American fundamentalist are quite prevalent, they are now and have always been more circumspect about the War on Drugs.

Indeed, even in 1988 African American fundies were somewhat more supportive of legalization–17% compared to 12% of white fundies. Fast forward to 2014 and the majority of African American fundies have realized that illegal pot is just a plot to put black people in jail. Support among African American fundies is at 54%, just about the same as in the full sample of the GSS regardless of race or religion (55%). In contrast, only 34% of white fundies in the 2014 GSS support marijuana legalization—making them far different from real normal Americans. The war on drugs has always been a war on ethnic minorities and political and religious dissidents. Secular Americans understand this, which is why nearly 80% of respondents who think the bible is bunk support legal weed.

Maybe in a few more 420s we can eliminate this question from the GSS…or maybe we should keep it so we can continue to see what the fundies would do to us if they wrest control of the means of coercion.

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