Pat Robertson: Really, Legalize Pot

'This war on drugs just hasn't succeeded,' he tells New York Times
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2012 9:49 AM CST
Pat Robertson: Really, Legalize Pot
In this Jan. 16, 2010 file photo, Rev. Pat Robertson talks to attendees at a prayer breakfast as part of inaugural ceremonies for Virginia Gov.-elect Bob Mcdonnell at the Capitol in Richmond, Va.   (AP Photo/Clem Britt, File)

Pat Robertson is not cool with a lot of stuff, like abortion and Islam, but apparently he's down with toking. The evangelical leader has discussed his support for legalizing marijuana in the past, but in a new interview with the New York Times, he appears to have "fully embraced the idea," the Times notes. "I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol," he says. Of course, "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." Legalizing marijuana would cut costs and reduce overcrowding in prisons, he argues.

Robertson said as much in 2010, then again last week on the 700 Club, but the Times notes that his followers had basically dismissed those comments. Now he's "doubling down," says one legalization advocate, making him an unlikely hero to many in the legalization movement. Robertson says he "absolutely" supports ballot measures, such as those up for vote in Colorado and Washington in the fall, to roll back punishments and prohibitions regarding pot. But he won't actively campaign for them, since "I'm not a crusader," he says. He also doesn't encourage people "to use narcotics in any way, shape, or form," he adds. (Another amusing quote from the interview, on Robertson's relationship with alcohol: "When I was in college, I hit it pretty hard, but that was before Christ.")

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