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Religious Americans Split Over Cannabis Legalization

Religious Americans Split Over Cannabis Legalization

Christian cannabis support is higher than evangelicals

When it comes to supporting the legalization of cannabis, the religious community in the US is divided.

According to the latest polling from Pew Research Center, 60% of all US adults support legalization of medical and recreational cannabis, with only 8% that want to keep it illegal and 31% supporting medical cannabis only. 

However when these results are broken down and analyzed on the community level, the polling is much more complex, and interesting.

Christian Cannabis Legalization Support

Overall, religiously affiliated individuals are less likely to support broad cannabis legalization. White evangelical Christians were the least supportive of legal cannabis, with only 44% supporting full legalization and another 43% supporting medical only.

However, the protestant population — that is the general Christian population that isn’t evangelical or Catholic — is much more supportive of cannabis legalization at 53%. Additionally, white, non-evangelical Christians support broad cannabis legalization by a margin of 62%.

That’s 2% higher than the national average.

Black non-evangelical Christians are nearly identical in their support, with 63% supporting full legalization. Catholics are similar to protestants in their support also at 53% overall with 58% support specifically from the white Catholic community but only 51% support from hispanic Catholics.

Religiously Unaffiliated Most Supportive

Compared to the former, religiously unaffiliated individuals are the most supportive of broad cannabis legalization. Overall, 76% support legalization, with 88% and 86% support coming from Atheists and Agnostics respectively.

Opinions about whether marijuana should be legal for recreational and/or medical use also differ based on how often people pray and how important they say religion is in their lives. 46% of adults who pray every day say marijuana should be legal for both medical and recreational use, compared with roughly seven-in-ten (72%) of those who pray less often.

Similarly, people who say religion is “very important” in their lives are less likely to favor broadly legal marijuana than those who say religion is less important (44% vs. 71%).

Colorado marijuana regulation bill overwhelmingly passes in House

Colorado marijuana regulation bill overwhelmingly passes in House

A Colorado marijuana regulation bill has been passed in the state house

It would restrict teens’ access to high-THC products and tighten rules for medical marijuana

The Colorado House of Representatives passed the state’s most substantial marijuana regulation policy since legalization on Thursday, intending to crack down on youth access to high-potency THC products and tighten rules for the medical marijuana market.

HB21-1317 passed overwhelmingly, 56-8, and moves on to the state Senate, where it is also expected to pass.

Some of the few House members who did criticize the bill argued data collection would lead to discrimination against consumers, as well as a slippery slope toward a fresh round of prohibitionist lawmaking.

Garnett disagreed, saying on the House floor just before the vote that he supports “making sure we all understand where this market has gone, how this (high-potency) market has expanded. … I just want to make sure that if there is an impact on the dev brain then we have public health research.

“We have waited too long to get to this point.”

Colorado’s legislative session must end no later than June 12, meaning this bill will move to the desk of Gov. Jared Polis in the next two weeks if it passes as expected.

Louisiana Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Advances To Senate

Louisiana Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Advances To Senate

Louisiana marijuana decriminalization bill has passed the house
A bill to decriminalize marijuana possession in Louisiana that already passed the House was approved in a Senate committee on Tuesday, sending it to the full chamber for final passage.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Cedric Glover (D), would make it so possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis would be punishable by a $100 fine without the threat of jail time. It cleared the Senate Judiciary C Committee in a 3-2 vote.

“House Bill 652 it seeks to address a problem that I think many of us have recognized over the years,” Glover said in opening remarks, adding that while opinions on full marijuana legalization vary, there’s widespread acceptance that low-level possession should not lead to incarceration or felony convictions.

If the decriminalization bill is approved on the Senate floor without amendments it will head to the governor’s desk.

This development comes as Louisiana lawmakers consider a number of separate marijuana bills this session, including one that would allow patients to access smokeable cannabis products. That measure has also passed the House and is pending action on the Senate floor.

A complementary bill to tax flower marijuana is also set to be taken up by the Senate.

The House additionally passed a resolution on Monday requesting the legislature conduct a formal study on the impacts of recreational marijuana legalization prior to the start of the 2022 session.

While advocates are encouraged by the modest reforms advancing, there is disappointment that a bill to enact adult-use legalization was pulled by its sponsor this month after the House defeated a companion bill to tax recreational sales.