Pat Robertson, the 84-year-old conservative televangelist and businessman, was as recently as three years ago an advocate of marijuana legalization. But now Robertson has changed his tune when it comes to pot and, as he told viewers of his regular 700 Club broadcast on Monday, now believes that smoking or otherwise ingesting marijuana turns a human being into a "slave to a vegetable."
Robertson has a rich history of outrageous and sometimes just simply bizarre statements made on the air during his regular broadcasts.
Clearly, however, the televangelist's influence has declined from its high point in the 1980s, when Robertson felt confident enough of his national popularity to stage a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, a contest eventually won by then-vice-president George H.W. Bush.
Robertson placed strongly in that year's early caucuses, and the New York Times lauded him for an "awesome organizing ability, a fervent following, and a campaign war chest to which more money has been donated than to any other candidate in either party except Vice President Bush."
But now, almost 30 years later, Robertson gains national attention primarily by issuing hard-to-fathom statements on the air, such as his recent warning to pregnant women that witches will curse their unborn children if they post ultrasound photos on Facebook.
On Monday, Pat Robertson turned his attention to the subject of marijuana legalization, a cause which he supported as recently as 2012, saying at the time, "I believe in working with the hearts of people, and not locking them up."
But after Colorado and Washington state passed laws legalizing marijuana, Robertson did an about-face on the issue, saying, "little kids are getting high. Do you want your little 8th grader to be stoned when he goes to school?"
On Monday's 700 Club show, he elaborated further, explaining that marijuana turns human beings into "slaves to vegetables."
"God gave you and me as human beings authority, he gave us dominion over everything on this Earth. Over all the animals, all the snakes, all the birds, all the plants, all the vegetables... Cocaine is the product of a vegetable, alcohol is the product of a vegetable, marijuana is a vegetable. And yet, people are enslaved to vegetables."Marijuana is actually, officially, classified as an herb, not a vegetable. But that detail did not stop Robertson from imploring his viewers to abstain from the consciousness-altering weed.
"You were made in the image of God. God made you in his image to reign and rule with him. He gave you incredible authority," he told the 700 Club audience. "Why would you become a slave to a vegetable? Why? Why would you do it?"
Watch the video of Pat Robertson explaining that marijuana will make you a "slave to a vegetable" in the excerpt from Monday's broadcast, above.
[Image: YouTube Screen Grab]