Pat Robertson on Marijuana

It’s newsworthy because it rarely happens: Pat Robertson said something reasonable.

He was talking about America’s marijuana policy:

“There’s something else we’ve got to recognize. We’re locking up people who take a couple of puffs of marijuana, and the next thing you know, they’ve got ten years. They’ve got mandatory sentences. These judges say, they throw up their hands and say there’s nothing we can do, there’s mandatory sentences. We’ve got to take a look at what we’re considering crimes and that’s one of them. I mean, I’m not exactly for the use of drugs, don’t get me wrong, but I just believe that criminalizing marijuana, criminalizing the possession of a few ounces of pot, and that kind of thing, I mean it’s just costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people. Young people go into prisons, they go in as youths, and they come out as hardened criminals and it’s not a good thing.”

Chris Roslan, a spokesperson for CBN, tried to tone down the message after the fact:

Dr. Robertson did not call for the decriminalization of marijuana. He was advocating that our government revisit the severity of the existing laws because mandatory drug sentences do harm to many young people who go to prison and come out as hardened criminals. He was also pointing out that these mandatory sentences needlessly cost our government millions of dollars when there are better approaches available. Dr. Robertson’s comments followed a CBN News story about a group of conservatives who have proven that faith-based rehabilitation for criminals has resulted in lower repeat offenders and saved the government millions of dollars. Dr. Robertson unequivocally stated that he is against the use of illegal drugs.

I don’t see how the comments he made in the video are calling for anything but decriminalization of pot.

Don’t you love how, when Robertson finally says something logical, his PR staff is hard at work trying to explain why he didn’t mean it?

  • fuzzybunnyslipperz

    If Pat takes a “couple of puffs” himself, that could explain a LOT.

  • http://www.youratheistneighbor.blogspot.com keystothekid

    No way in hell is Pat Robertson taking a couple puffs himself. NO. FREAKIN. WAY.

  • http://thishollowearth.wordpress.com/ Vicor

    Sure, now that he’s old and has glaucoma …

  • Kimpatsu

    Pat Robertson doesn’t need to smoke pot, because he snorts cocaine.
    Allegedly…
    :D

  • http://baconeatingatheistjew.blogspot.com/ The Atheist Jew

    Pat Robertson is probably concerned over the conversion rate from Christian to Muslim in today’s prisons.

  • stellaluna

    @Kimpatsu-
    trust me if he’s doing coke, then he really NEEDS the pot

  • JB Tait

    I see his point. The issue isn’t the crime but that the courts have their hands tied by laws that don’t allow for judges to assess the merits of each case. Existing laws are too rigid, and the penalties frequently go way beyond appropriate. A judge is faced with finding a guilty person not guilty (which is unethical, dishonest, and possibly corrupt) or applying a nonsensically draconian penalty to trivially inappropriate behavior.
    We need to revise the laws so that our judges can award sentences based on the individual circumstances of each offense.

  • AnonymousSM

    Of course his staff tries to downplay it or change it… they know him and so they know if he says something logical, he’s obviously not himself and off his rocker…

  • JD

    Rising incarceration rates are because of the “tough on crime” arms race, where anyone advocating sane punishments is called “soft on crime”. In a soundbite driven political landscape, that can be pretty devastating.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he has other agendas, such as an above mention of conversions to Islam, though Pat is rarely so indirect as to hide his stupid agenda.

  • http://www.meaningwithoutgodproject.blogspot.com Jeffrey A. Myers

    I would just like to point out the irony of a man who believes that mandatory sentancing for PCS and DCS is unduly harsh and draconian who at the same time believes it is perfectly appropriate for his God to condemn people for all eternity based on insufficient Yahweh love.

    I mean I know consistency isn’t exactly their thing, but…

  • http://aboutkitty.blogspot.com/ Cat’s Staff

    He must not have any investments in the private prison corporations…otherwise he would be saying “10 years…make it 20!”

  • Betheny neece

    Call me crazy I Don’t care but I think they should just legalize it and tax it already, they would make far more money,it also would help cut down crime a hell of a lot.. Can you Imagine Marlboro Marijuana in a green box with a picture of a leaf??

  • Jeanette

    OMFSM Pat Robertson said something reasonable. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts, because I have no doubt the next thing I hear him say will be full of stupid like usual.

  • What Would Professor Pat Pending Do?

    Smoking pot would make watching the 700 Club more bearable, although repeated viewings would likely need more powerful substances.

  • Vas

    I mean, I’m not exactly for the use of drugs, don’t get me wrong
    P.R.

    and then…

    Dr. Robertson unequivocally stated that he is against the use of illegal drugs.
    PR Guy

    so the lesson in this is…
    wait for it…

    not exactly = unequivocally

    It seems to me that interpretation based souly, (yes that is a pun) on what someone wished someone else said applies to more than just the bible in the xtian mind.
    If someone said I’m not exactly for the practice of pedophilia, people would loose their minds and call for the head of the person who said that. But if someone said I’m unequivocally against the practice of pedophilia, it wouldn’t make a ripple.
    Exactly = unequivocally? Bullshit! The old man said what he said end of story, and we shouldn’t be surprised either because Pat lives in America, and we, (Americans) have been talking about issues surrounding pot in our society for some time now. The U.S. pot laws are wrong minded, ineffective, and expensive, Pat heard this argument, agreed with it, and flat out said so on his stupid T.V. show. Am I kind of shocked by this? Yes. But hey, even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes. Everyone has a plus and minus column, this one goes in Pat’s plus column… Point Robertson.

  • http://selfra.blogspot.com dantresomi

    he has to be on something for some of the things he says

  • Demonhype

    Well, that almost knocked me straight out of my chair. An entire paragraph of Robertson-text with which I could agree, with not one instance of ugly moronic conservative rhetoric or religiosity. I never EVER thought I’d see the day that would happen! Things like this make me wonder if these talking heads are anywhere near as stupid as they make themselves seem. Has he been this reasonable this whole time and the idiocy has just been a lucrative act? Well, I know that’s been said before, but I have to say it again. Because….well, just because wow.

    @Bethany neece: seconded. :) Personally, I think that even outside of marijuana they need to extract drug charges from the legal system, at least decriminalize them all like Portugal did (with success), make them a misdemeanor at worst, and offer proper counseling and rehabilitation rather than incarceration. This should never have been treated as a matter of law and order because it is actually a public health concern. And trying to treat common and natural human inclination as a law and order issue you can smash with a hammer is futile and absurd–you might as well try to regulate sex and food in the same way. People have been altering their perceptions with various weeds and materials since the beginning and you’re not going to smash that inclination with a legal hammer.

    Marijuana needs to be legalized though. It’s no worse than booze and it’s illegal status is absurd, being propped up by political and economic interests rather than good reason.

    @JD: you too. :) Seriously, the “tough on crime” bullshit security theater has reached a fever pitch, having extended to private companies being called on to internally search and monitor private citizens and being subsidized by the government to do so. Heightened sentences, heightened severity, it’s all been a dismal failure, so they go even further and start treating average citizens like criminals without suspicion. None of it is effectual, all of it is wrong ,as we all know, no one ever won votes by appealing to what is sane and good in the voters. However, promising you’ll keep those dangerous and uppity colored people behind bars and protect their children from the SCARY Mary Jane at all costs, including the cost of their own civil liberties–that’ll buy you the whole enchilada!

    God, I hate people.

  • Ben

    When Pat Robertson says something that I agree with, it’s time for me to rethink my stance…

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

    Whoa. Who turned down the thermostat? It’s FREEZING down here!

  • http://noadi.etsy.com Noadi

    I’m personally against the use of most recreational drugs as they’re harmful. Some can be used responsibly like alcohol and marijuana and I’m fine with people using those if they do so responsibly. Other drugs like heroin or meth, I don’t think can ever be safely used.

    All that said, I’m for the decriminalization of drug use. The “war on drugs” has done far more harm than good, people with drug use problems need treatment not jail time. It’s not inconsistent to be both against drug use and for decriminalization.

    Also I hope they’re enjoying the snow in Hell.

  • Dennis

    The private prison industry, law enforcement, prosecutors, were having a field day locking up everyone in sight. Any prison guard will tell you marijuana convicts are called “job security”. Now however, their lobbying to lock them all up is back firing as governments are running out of money to pay for their own or private prisons. It’s a shame that they only are coming to this realization because of cost factors. Scumbag politicians are still playing their “tough on crime” card so I see prohibition dying a very slow death. Fear tactics are finally giving way to common sense and hopefully someday this insanity will end.

  • http://lsminsurance.ca/ Lorne Marr

    Legalization of marijuana is usually a perfect way to attract attention of the young by some politicians who are willing to go beyond the boundaries if there is a chance of gaining more popularity.

  • mingfrommongo

    So which relative of Robertson’s is about to be arrested?

  • Jeff

    So which relative of Robertson’s is about to be arrested?

    Yeah, I’m wondering if one of his grandkids is in trouble. I absolutely REFUSE to believe he’s capable of saying something that rational. Scared the bejeezus out of his handlers, though, didn’t it?

    God, I hate people.

    Seconded emphatically.

  • Tammy

    Other countries have decriminalized marijuana use, and they found that fewer teens are using it now. Pot is not as harmful as alcohol (whoever heard of rape, assult, murder, and domsetic abuse by someone high on pot?), and has more medicinal benefits, and fewer harmful side-effects, than alcohol. Claiming that pot is the “gateway drug” is nonsense. Everyone I knew who started doing other drugs started with booze and cigarettes. Sending a kid to prison for 10 years not only turns them into hardened criminals, they have a prison record on file for life, and it can effect job and educational opportunities, which in turn can put added burden on society to pay welfare for them.