Religious people are significantly less likely to support legalizing marijuana compared to those who identify as atheists and other religiously unaffiliated groups, a new polling analysis from the Pew Research Center found.
While most surveys on the issue look at key demographics like political party affiliation, age and race, this latest report reveals a prominent schism between people of various Christian faiths and those who are atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.”
Overall, 60 percent of Americans favor legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes, based on Pew’s latest national survey. And a combined 91 percent say it should be legal for either medical or recreational purposes.
Religiously-affiliated people overall are less inclined to back fully ending prohibition, though still with a majority of 54 percent. The group least likely to favor adult-use legalization is white evangelical Protestants (44 percent) and the most likely supporters are black protestants (63 percent).
Fifty-three percent of Catholics are on board with legalizing cannabis across the board, though white members of the denomination are more likely to support the policy change than are Hispanic ones.
Among people who identify with any religious group, 54% believe marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use. Among unaffiliated people, 76% say marijuana should be legal for both purposes. https://t.co/88YlVzvxPv pic.twitter.com/CIupiTL52L
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) May 27, 2021
In contrast, 76 percent of religiously unaffiliated people support legalizing both recreational and medical marijuana. That includes 88 percent of atheists, 86 percent of agnostics and 70 percent of those who said they believe in “nothing in particular.” Only one percent of agnostics feel cannabis shouldn’t be legal for either medical or adult use.
It’s worth noting, however, that while Christians are less inclined to back legalization compared to non-religious people, a majority of each group