Does Jesus hate marijuana?

So, I’ve been plugging away with some data (a 2013 Pew survey) for my next conference paper– the gender gap on public opinion towards marijuana.  As you might not expect, women are consistently more negative towards marijuana legalization than are men.  And it’s not because they are moms.  Anyway, more to come on this issue.  For now, one thing that struck me as I’m running dozens of permutations of models is just how much active Christians do not like marijuana– with every possible control.  Here’s a basic set of mean comparisons for “born again” and not using the dependent variable “mjscale” (a scale from 6 different items about the dangers of marijuana and opinions on enforcement) and “grasslegal” just the basic legal or not question.  Both of these variables run 0-1 with 1 indicating greater support for legal marijuana.


As you can see, Born Again Christians (in the 1.00 section of the table) score just .53 compared to .68 on the mjscale and are dramatically less likely to favor legal marijuana, 43% versus 60%.  These are just the basic comparisons, but these findings are very robust to all sorts of other statistical controls in multiple regression models.  I guess I missed that part in the New Testament where Jesus says “and woe unto the marijuana smokers.”


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

2 Responses to Does Jesus hate marijuana?

  1. Alex says:

    Curious. Does the data have similar questions on cigarette smoking? Is it possible born-again Christians have a more negative view than society in general on all vices?

    • Steve Greene says:

      Oh, I don’t doubt that. But, no smoking question. I could probably find it in GSS if I were so inclined (and if my focus were actually on the impact of Christianity).

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