Perhaps you wouldn’t expect an evangelical leader to be so open about his endorsing of pot. But, Pat Robertson, paradoxically, is. In a recent interview for the New York Times, Pat Robertson told the reporter he wants pot to be legal just like alcohol is.
While most of his counterparts and the U.S. regulators are engaged in a long term war on drugs, legalizing marijuana groups get endorsed by none other than Pat Robertson. His take on the inefficiency of the measures to stop drug consumption and reduce related crimes seem to be much too democratic, for a former GOP presidential candidate, as well as TV evangelist.
On Wednesday, Pat Robertson said: “I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol. I’ve never used marijuana and I don’t intend to, but it’s just one of those things that I think”. In his opinion the authorities’ war on drugs “hasn’t succeeded” and the high number of people in prison for marijuana possession and other related crimes is proof enough.
According to the Justice Department, out of the two million people detained in jails across the United States, one quarter are there for drug offenses. Out of all federal and state prisoners, 12 percent are there over marijuana related offenses. Even though the 12 percent isn’t much when compared to the overall population of the United States that doesn’t mean the costs are easy on taxpayers’ pockets.
Robertson added: “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”.
Obviously keeping someone in jail for 10 years is a huge expense and some back of the envelope calculations would have staggering results. That’s why the TV evangelist believes that “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?”
One cannot help to wonder what got the TV evangelist and a former GOP presidential candidate that stood strong on enforcing drug laws in 1988 change his views so radically. The 81-year-old said that he came to the conclusion that the U.S. “has gone overboard on this concept of being tough on crime”.