Americans believe marijuana use is slightly more “morally acceptable” than participating in an adulterous affair, wearing fur, watching pornography, or polygamy, according to a new Gallup poll.
Less taboo than America’s death penalty or doctor-assisted suicides, marijuana use was found to be morally acceptable by 65 percent of the poll’s participants. Compared with other questionable activities, only 31 percent of the surveyed participants viewed marijuana as “morally wrong,” according to the poll.
Alcohol or Marijuana?
Shunned by the politically potent cross-section of puritanical America, marijuana’s primary hurdle for moral acceptance is overzealous religiosity, Gallup found. Defined as “highly religious Americans,” Gallup correlated the frequency with which individuals attend church with their disdain for cannabis and alcohol. Asked and answered, the poll found alcohol and marijuana use had an elevated level of acceptance with the exception of one group – ideological conservatives.
For the poll, Gallup conducted telephone interviews between May 1, 2018, to May 10, 2018, of adults ages 18 and older. The survey’s alcohol results were based on a random sample of 542 adults, while the marijuana question queried a random sample of 482 adults. The margin of error for these samples is plus or minus 5 percentage points.
Divided by socioeconomic characteristics, religious vigor, and age, the survey noted:
“In contrast to liberals and moderates, ideological conservatives are far more likely to view drinking alcohol (75%) than smoking marijuana (47%) as acceptable moral behavior.”
Faith Snuffs Out Moral Acceptance
For the faithful who attend church on a weekly basis, moral acceptance of marijuana use declined precipitously, falling to just 41 percent. Conversely, alcohol consumption was viewed as a morally defensible practice among the churchgoing majority, with 60 percent finding it acceptable.
A generational schism or lucid indifference, the Gallup poll discovered that most Americans do not object to alcohol consumption or marijuana use. But for those who do, Gallup surmised “they are more likely to see drinking alcohol as an acceptable behavior, perhaps because it is legal in all states while smoking marijuana is not.”
But while the religious right cling to their faith and liquor to soothe what ails them, a 2014 study found alcohol played a greater role than marijuana in the degradation of America’s youth. Blowing some inconvenient facts on the marijuana v. booze morality battle, the report found “alcohol use was significantly more likely to be associated with unsafe driving.”