Home Culture Conservative Christian Media Evolves (a little) on Cannabis Issue

Conservative Christian Media Evolves (a little) on Cannabis Issue

© Stock Pot Images / Blake Billings

The Christian Science Monitor, the news organization owned by the First Church of Christ, has honored its objective to be “unrelenting but fair, with multiple perspectives, who resist the sensational in favor of the meaningful” with its recent coverage of the state of cannabis in America.

Their new approach to marijuana legalization could be a sign of a ‘cannabis renaissance’ among the masses. In this article from the Christian Science Monitor in October, readers can see the shift from complete anti-pot rhetoric to a more open discussion of data and real life stories.

CMS articles have been known, in the past, to feed into the stigma against the plant by perpetuating the debunked ‘gateway theory’ – that cannabis gets users hooked on other drugs. By the way, if you still think it’s a gateway drug, check out this clip of Brooking’s Institution policy researcher John Hudak discussing the common misconception. Hint: It’s not the plant, but the illegal drug dealers that are pushing harder drugs that return a higher profit.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

CSM included polls by Gallup and Pew Research, revealing that as many as 60 percent of Americans are in favor of marijuana legalization. That’s twice as much support than in previous decades.

They also mention that Gallup’s Editor in Chief pins the upswing on Millennials, despite the evidence of growing interest among older generations. “In the 1980’s, support once again dipped, which some observers attribute to anti-drug crusades that portrayed marijuana as a gateway drug.” This line is telling of the mainstream establishment’s new willingness to write about the failed war on drugs.  

This new perspective, however, is at odds with the editorial board’s view.

In a united front, The Monitor’s editorial board addressed the marijuana topic in their op-ed “Why the US can’t ignore Colorado’s pot experiment”. Published almost a year ago, they wrote; “Evidence keeps rolling in that the Rocky Mountain state’s marijuana legalization, in clear violation of federal drug laws, has negative spillovers. If federal officials won’t act, other states should take heed of legal weed.”

Let’s break the loaded statement. They say the ‘negative spillovers’ are Mexican drug cartels. In fact, the myth that Mexican cartels are operating within Colorado’s legal market and trafficking the pot wholesale across state lines has been widely refuted by other studies, like this Colorado Public Safety study.

While both sides of the legalization aisle can agree that cannabis stands to benefit from more research, it’s important to recognize the new willingness to accept data into the mainstream conversation on the herb. It’s crucial in debunking the myths spread by decades of anti-pot propaganda.


  1. I think if people keep presenting the message in a positive light people will slowing come around, even some groups like Christians won’t be able to ignore facts for long. (PS, I’m a Christian and I support legalization!)