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Poll: Pot More Morally Acceptable Than Porn

Sixty-five percent of Americans say smoking marijuana is just fine.

Depending on who you talk to marijuana use is either becoming more mainstream, or we're all going to hell.

Petri Oeschger | Getty Images

A new Gallup poll says that a majority of Americans think it's "morally acceptable" to light up a joint. When asked if marijuana was morally permissible or morally wrong, sixty-five percent said they didn't have a problem with it. This puts attitudes about weed use on par with other widely accepted but controversial acts including gambling and sex between an unmarried man and woman (69 percent approve), and gay or lesbian relations (67 percent approve).


Moral Highs and Lows

Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs survey, conducted May 1-10, asked Americans to indicate whether they believed each of 22 different behaviors and practices were morally acceptable or morally wrong. Some of the findings:

  • Birth control: 91 percent says it's morally acceptable, 9 percent say it's morally wrong. 
  • Drinking: 78 percent say it's morally acceptable, 10 percent say it's morally wrong
  • Divorce: 76 percent says it's morally acceptable, 19 percent say it's morally wrong.
  • Medical research using stem cells: 66 percent says it's morally acceptable, 29 percent say it's morally wrong.
  • Smoking marijuana: 65 percent vs. 31 percent
  • Death penalty: 62 percent vs. 33 percent
  • Medical testing on animals: 54 percent vs. 33 percent
  • Porn: 43 percent vs. 55 percent
  • Cloning animals: 40 percent vs. 51 percent


What's Going On?

Attitudes about smoking marijuana pretty much mirror attitudes about legalizing it. Last year, a separate Gallup poll found that 64 percent of Americans favored making pot legal.

Related: As American Attitudes Become More Liberal, Even Republicans Favor Pot Legalization

The largest swath of Americans who don't have a problem with marijuana are men between the ages of 18 to 35, college educated, and not churchgoers. But pot acceptance doesn't discriminate. Fifty-eight percent of those over 55 also approved of marijuana use, as did 59 percent of women. 

The bottom line, says Gallup: "Some states have recently legalized marijuana and many others are considering doing so, perhaps removing some of the stigma associated with the drug. But with roughly two-thirds of the public saying marijuana use is morally acceptable, it seems there will not be sufficient opposition to thwart attempts to make it legal.”

Are you listening, Jeff Sessions?

Related: Jeff Sessions' War on Marijuana Is a Bit of a Yawner and Could Backfire On Him