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Published On: Wed, Feb 5th, 2014

Franklin Graham, Hobby Lobby owners, Mark DeMoss speak out on marijuana saying community programs better than incarceration

Colorado and Washington State are the two states which have legalized marijuana and the rest of the country watches closely to judge the impact on their communities.

photo Bart Everson  Armstrong Legalize Marijuana

photo Bart Everson Armstrong Legalize Marijuana

Pastors, theologians and religious leaders are not caught in the middle of the issue.

“When 50 percent of our prison beds are occupied by nonviolent offenders, we have prison overcrowding problems and violent offenders serving shortened sentences, I have a problem with incarceration for possession of marijuana,” Mark DeMoss, a spokesman for several prominent evangelicals including Franklin Graham and Hobby Lobby founder Steve Green said

“None of that’s to say I favor free and rampant marijuana use. I don’t think it’s the most serious blight on America.”

According to a 2013 survey from the Public Religion Research Institute, 58 percent of white mainline Protestants and 54 percent of black Protestants favor legalizing the use of marijuana. On the other side, nearly seven-in-10 (69 percent) white evangelical Protestants oppose it.

Catholics appear to be the most divided Christian group, with 48 percent favoring legalization and 50 percent opposing it. Opinions on how states should handle those who possess or sell marijuana varies among Christian leaders.

DeMoss adds that alcohol abuse is a much more serious issue and says that his comments on pot would instigate attacks saying he’s compromised on a moral issue.

Laws on marijuana have disproportionately impacted minorities, said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

“There are community programs that can better engage young people than incarceration,” he said. “Many black and brown lives are destroyed because of incarceration.”

A majority of Americans now favor legalizing the use of marijuana, according to the most recent polling from the Pew Research Center. In 2013, 52 percent said that the use of marijuana should be made legal while 45 percent said it should not. Among millennials (adults born after 1980), 65 percent favor legalizing marijuana use, up from just 36 percent in 2008.

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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