Evangelical leader Pat Robertson has said some surprising things in his time – divorcing your spouse who has Alzheimer’s is OK, wondering if mac ‘n cheese is a “black thing”, the “SNL” Tim Tebow skit was “anti-Christian bigotry” – but none has surprised us more than this – he says marijuana should be legal.
“I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol,” Robertson tells the New York Times. “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.”
Citing how expensive the incarceration of marijuana-related offensives is, Robertson says, “I believe in working with the hearts of people, and not locking them up.”
He adds that the country “has gone overboard on this concept of being tough on crime … it’s completely out of control. 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.”
Robertson also stresses that he’s not encouraging drug use. But he says he sees very little difference between smoking pot and drinking alcohol.
“If people can go into a liquor store and buy a bottle of alcohol and drink it at home legally, then why do we say that the use of this other substance is somehow criminal?” says Robertson.
Robertson adds he’s not afraid of criticism about his stance – “I think on this one, I’m on the right side.”