Posted in: Religion

Pat Robertson ‘Doubling Down’ On Support For Marijuana Legalization

Pat Robertson still supports marijuana

As weird as he can be, you might be surprised to find that you actually agree with controversial evangelist and 700 Club host Pat Robertson on a few things. Things like marijuana legalization.

Robertson has hinted in the past that he supports the legalization of marijuana, but came out as a full-on and unambiguous advocate in an interview last Wednesday.

“I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol,” Robertson said. “I’ve never used marijuana and I don’t intend to, but it’s just one of those things that I think: this war on drugs just hasn’t succeeded.”

As reported, Robertson has made similar comments in support of marijuana legalization in the past, once just last week on 700 Club and in 2010. His viewers dismissed his seeming sympathy for a cause that was so obviously outside of his far-right wheelhouse, but he actually has some pretty solid reasons for supporting it. He says he thinks legalization will drive down rates of incarceration and reduce social and financial costs.

“I believe in working with the hearts of people, and not locking them up,” he said.

Just as surprisingly, pro-legalization groups have embraced Robertson’s support. It really is a smart move, considering that he is such an out-of-the-box supporter.

“Pat Robertson still has an audience of millions of people, and they respect what he has to say,” said the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy group for more lenient drug laws. “And he’s not backtracking. He’s doubling down.”

Though Robertson doesn’t advocate marijuana use per se, he finds the punitive measures against the drug’s users to be too severe.

“It’s completely out of control,” Robertson said. “Prisons are being overcrowded with juvenile offenders having to do with drugs. And the penalties, the maximums, some of them could get 10 years for possession of a joint of marijuana. It makes no sense at all.”

Conservative groups have largely remained silent on Robertson’s marijuana views, even as they remain opposed to it.

Robertson himself hasn’t used marijuana before, hinting instead that alcohol was his pre-conversion poison.

“When I was in college, I hit it pretty hard, but that was before Christ.” He said that while marijuana doesn’t appear in the Bible, “Jesus made water into wine,” arguing, “I don’t think he was a teetotaler.”

Are you surprised by Pat Robertson’s embrace of marijuana legalization?

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Comments

7 Responses to “Pat Robertson ‘Doubling Down’ On Support For Marijuana Legalization”

  1. John Chase

    So Pat wants to decriminalize. That word suggests more casual smoking. But casual smoking was never a problem, by definition. The problem that decrim would fix is of prosecutors forcing an arrestee to snitch on others by threatening him/her with a felony record.

    To "snitch on others" can mean simply testifying against friends, family or strangers. It can also mean wearing a wire to try to set up suspected dealers. Consider the 2008 killing of Rachel Hoffman, the 23 yr old FSU graduate who tried to buy a gun and cocaine from two suspected dealers, but got killed instead. She had been arrested for selling marijuana and ecstasy from her Tallahassee apartment, and agreed to cooperate with Tallahassee police. Florida law has been changed to protect naive arrestees like Rachel, but prosecutors continue to force other marijuana arrestees to snitch.

    In drug conspiracy, no evidence is needed; just the word of someone under the thumb of prosecutors. Decriminalization would end that.

  2. Michael Novak

    'doubling down' just because the man if for a sensible marijuana policy doesn't mean we need to lay siege to his image. he's a religious man for goodness sake. Man may not of gambled in his life.

  3. Ron Gilbert

    It is about time that the "Religious Right" starts to read the Bible and live and act accordingly. Re-legalize Cannabis and support the small family farmers.

  4. Nolan Klein

    Genesis 1:29 – And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

    You can use cannabis for food, fuel, fiber, plastic, construction materials, paper, textiles, medicine, and in a thousand other ways.

  5. Chris O'Hara

    Not even god could enforce prohibition and god only had 2 people and a tree to watch…..