Newest supporter of marijuana legalization: Pat Robertson?

posted at 7:36 pm on December 22, 2010 by Allahpundit

A remarkable catch by lefty site Raw Story.

“It got to be a big deal in campaigns: ‘He’s tough on crime,’ and ‘lock ‘em up!’” the Christian Coalition founder said. “That’s the way these guys ran and, uh, they got elected. But, that wasn’t the answer.”

His co-host added that the success of religious-run dormitories for drug and alcohol cessation therapy present an “opportunity” for faith-based communities to lead the way on drug law reforms.

“We’re locking up people that have taken a couple puffs of marijuana and next thing you know they’ve got 10 years with mandatory sentences,” Robertson continued. “These judges just say, they throw up their hands and say nothing we can do with these mandatory sentences. We’ve got to take a look at what we’re considering crimes and that’s one of ‘em.

“I’m … 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, that kinda thing it’s just, it’s costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people. Young people go into prisons, they go in as youths and come out as hardened criminals. That’s not a good thing.”

The segment on marijuana comes at the beginning of the clip below; skip ahead to 3:00 or so for Robertson’s commentary. It’s offered in the context of promoting the site Right on Crime, which looks for alternatives to imprisonment for various offers in order to reduce the likelihood of recidivism. Here’s their section on substance abuse calling for more “drug courts” to replace criminal courts in processing nonviolent offenders. Essentially, if you comply with the probation-like conditions imposed by the court to stay clean, hold down a job, etc, the offense would eventually be expunged from your record. No prison time and no stigma going forward when applying for jobs.

Says former Hot Air guestblogger See Dubya on Twitter of Robertson’s stance on weed, “That means it’s no longer cool, right?” Exit question: Does this create some political space for “true conservatives” to be more adventurous in opposing marijuana laws? Palin showed a little flair on that point a few months ago but it’s disappeared among the field since then (except, of course, for libertarian Gary Johnson). If she brings it back, it could spark interest among independents, and now that she has Robertson as cover on her right flank, the damage among social cons should be minimal.


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Jesus was a doper.

exdeadhead on December 22, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Weed is the agent Beelzebub.

blatantblue on December 22, 2010 at 7:41 PM

I didn’t know that many conservatives really wanted tough sentences for pot possession. I always have thought the focus should be on the dealers and the trafficking.

JellyToast on December 22, 2010 at 7:41 PM

“Of Beelzebub,” rather.

blatantblue on December 22, 2010 at 7:42 PM

“We’re locking up people that have taken a couple puffs of marijuana and next thing you know they’ve got 10 years with mandatory sentences,” Robertson continued. “These judges just say, they throw up their hands and say nothing we can do with these mandatory sentences. We’ve got to take a look at what we’re considering crimes and that’s one of ‘em.

Well, I agree with that, the prisons are loaded with minor crimes like that and the sad part is most of them go in as minor criminals and come out hardened by the enviroment of the prison system.

fourdeucer on December 22, 2010 at 7:42 PM

INC 50 comments about how responsible adults can partake of alcohol responsibly, but no responsible adult can partake of marijuana responsibly, marijuana must remain illegal, reefer madness for the children rabble rabble rabble.

Jeddite on December 22, 2010 at 7:43 PM

“I’m … 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, that kinda thing it’s just, it’s costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people. Young people go into prisons, they go in as youths and come out as hardened criminals. That’s not a good thing.”

Well, good for him.

MeatHeadinCA on December 22, 2010 at 7:43 PM

Pot: it’s no longer for pseudo edgy comedians on Comedy Central. That zeitgeist can be a tricky thing.

Weight of Glory on December 22, 2010 at 7:43 PM

Decriminalize it, legalize it, tax the crap out of it.

Knucklehead on December 22, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Decriminalize it, legalize it, tax the crap out of it.

Knucklehead on December 22, 2010 at 7:44 PM

You do realize you’re setting yourself up for more trafficking if you “tax the crap out of it”, right ?

MetaThought on December 22, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Newest supporter of marijuana legalization: Pat Robertson?

Good for him. It’s long past time we ended the persecution.

FloatingRock on December 22, 2010 at 7:48 PM

Just as long as it’s not in a drink form, because canned stimulants are “Bad”.

portlandon on December 22, 2010 at 7:48 PM

It’ll be fun to watch the left have to agree with someone they’ve ridiculed and reviled for years. As for Robertson, it sounds like he just sees it as another way to bring in the bucks.

clearbluesky on December 22, 2010 at 7:51 PM

Decriminalize it, legalize it, tax the crap out of it.

Knucklehead on December 22, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Which will then lead to regulation, over-leveraging, bailout, and nationalization of the pot industry. And that will create a new pot black mark to avoid the taxes and regulation, and the circle will be complete.

Weight of Glory on December 22, 2010 at 7:51 PM

Pat just wants has Glaucoma.

It’s for my eyes, son. It’s for my eyes.

portlandon on December 22, 2010 at 7:52 PM

…pot black mark…

Weight of Glory on December 22, 2010 at 7:51 PM

“mark” to “market”

Weight of Glory on December 22, 2010 at 7:53 PM

You do realize you’re setting yourself up for more trafficking if you “tax the crap out of it”, right ?

MetaThought on December 22, 2010 at 7:47 PM

OK, then let’s not tax it. And let’s sell it so cheap, it will run the Mexican drug trafficker’s out of business.

Knucklehead on December 22, 2010 at 7:53 PM

Knucklehead on December 22, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Don’t tax it. The government has enough of our money.

Kafir on December 22, 2010 at 7:57 PM

Just as long as it’s not in a drink form, because canned stimulants are “Bad”.

portlandon on December 22, 2010 at 7:48 PM

Yeah.
Four Loko baaaaad….
Pot goooood….
Someone do the math for me here.

12thMonkey on December 22, 2010 at 7:57 PM

Pat is right.

fossten on December 22, 2010 at 8:01 PM

with a potential narco-terrorist state across the border, i think we’re going to have to do some deep thinking.

Pat forgot the terrible increase in police powers due to drugs…property confiscation anyone?

an establishment stand is yes to drug and gun regulation

a libertarian stand is no to regulation of both.

r keller on December 22, 2010 at 8:05 PM

Pat Robertson said:

“I’m … 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, that kinda thing it’s just, it’s costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people.

In context, he’s speaking against the skewed justice here. A minor pot offense gets a mandatory offense. My understanding of what he’s saying is that the punishment should fit the crime. In that respect, I would agree with him.

conservative pilgrim on December 22, 2010 at 8:07 PM

Well, I knew there would be repercussions to my wife working at the cafeteria inside the CBN Headquarters. I’d always thought it would be in the form of a lightning bolt striking my car when I would pick her up from work. Never in my wildest dreams did I figure she’d influence the big guy! I’m gonna go give her a big hug, right now!

Wind Rider on December 22, 2010 at 8:08 PM

Dope n gheys
Allahpundit in heaven.

james23 on December 22, 2010 at 8:08 PM

I’m not so sure. Alcohol and tobacco has the crap taxed out of them, but the black market doesn’t seem to be a significant problem.

blink on December 22, 2010 at 8:01 PM

Oh, you may be right. I was just trying to be funny by applying all the usual hoops that legitimate industries go through, and their life cycle, to the pot industry. I could’ve also included the unionization of pot laborers, then the rise of the “right to work” pot states. Then the inevitable outsourcing of our pot industry to India, followed by a presidential cycle in which one main theme is to bring the pot industry back to American soil where it belongs. Then I’ll have to endure Cramer on CNBC pounding the “BUY BUY BUY BUY” button as he advises everyone to buy all the pot related stocks due to the EPA losing a major case to restrict pot farms they claimed harmed the environment.

Weight of Glory on December 22, 2010 at 8:13 PM

Now we know why Pat always has that silly grin.

davidk on December 22, 2010 at 8:13 PM

No substances should regulated except antibiotics.

gbear on December 22, 2010 at 8:15 PM

it could spark interest

Yes. Thanks for that.

I hear Robertson’s renaming the 700 Club to the 420 Club.

melchitt on December 22, 2010 at 8:17 PM

Careful Allahpundit, smoke enough pot and you’ll see Jesus.

Rebar on December 22, 2010 at 8:28 PM

“We’re locking up people that have taken a couple puffs of marijuana and next thing you know they’ve got 10 years with mandatory sentences,” Robertson continued. “These judges just say, they throw up their hands and say nothing we can do with these mandatory sentences. We’ve got to take a look at what we’re considering crimes and that’s one of ‘em.

I would seriously doubt that this is happening, but if it is, it’s ridiculous.

And the title of the story is very misleading. Legalization is not the word Pat Robertson used. He used the word “criminalizing.” That would suggest that he does not favor legalization, but is objecting to the sentences for simple possession.

But saying “decriminalization” in the headline probably wouldn’t get as much attention and generate as many comments, right, Allahpundit?

JannyMae on December 22, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Well, God did declare all seed bearing plants to be “good”. Just sayin……..

tommyboy on December 22, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Mediaite has the same story

I love this quote:

Pat Robertson more commonly garners media attention for blaming various things he doesn’t like on things that have little or nothing to do with them (e.g. the Haitian earthquake on the nation’s supposed pact with Satan, or the September 11th attacks on the ACLU and “the gays”). Yet this week he’s making headlines for comments that sound a lot less Pat Robertson and a lot more Cheech and Chong. Apparently, Pat Robertson supports decriminalizing marijuana.

Emphasis mine.

One Angry Christian on December 22, 2010 at 9:04 PM

“The times they sure are a’changing…..

What’s next? Mormans…Mitt Romney having a “bud” light?

Mcguyver on December 22, 2010 at 9:15 PM

blink on December 22, 2010 at 7:58 PM

You are right, I was in a hurry, I should have said there are too many prisoners doing hard time for soft crimes.

fourdeucer on December 22, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Decriminalize it, legalize it, tax the crap out of it.

Knucklehead on December 22, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Yippee for government controlling behavior through taxation!! And liberty or something.

Ronnie on December 22, 2010 at 9:54 PM

Old people are definitely for decrim. They are usually wise folks, old people. They see it as a pathway out of subsidizing Latin American drug cartels and they are correct. Like I said, old people didn’t get to be old being stupid.

pc on December 22, 2010 at 10:08 PM

OK, then let’s not tax it. And let’s sell it so cheap, it will run the Mexican drug trafficker’s out of business.

Knucklehead on December 22, 2010 at 7:53 PM

That right there is a fine idea.

JohnGalt23 on December 22, 2010 at 10:10 PM

Outside the federal courts, I’d say that jail time for a “couple puffs of marijuana” is probably rare.

blink on December 22, 2010 at 7:58 PM

Actually, it’s a lot more common than you might think, in places like Indiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, etc.

Now, it’s usually short time, often until a bail hearing. But a week or two, handed out tens of thousands of times each year… the man-years start adding up.

And in the end, man-years = your tax dollars at work.

JohnGalt23 on December 22, 2010 at 10:15 PM

I wonder how God weighs the big sins to the small ones. Hmmmmmmmm

SouthernGent on December 22, 2010 at 10:21 PM

“Young people”, here’s an idea on how to prevent yourself from going to prison for violating marijuana laws — Don’t smoke marijuana you frigging nerds. It’s not impressing anybody.

Idiots need to stop acting like it’s inevitable that young people are going to ruin their brains with harmful chemicals, as though it’s some beautiful fucked-up part of growing up. Me and my friends are all “young people” and we aren’t fucktarded enough to suck down harmful chemicals because we don’t need to fit into low culture’s corny mold for how we’re supposed to behave.

Legislation isn’t the problem. Focus on teaching kids that doing pot is pathetic. Anything outside of keeping your body and mind pure and healthy flies in the face of common sense, you desperate little snots.

Drink some water. Do some laps outside. Read and write with a clear head. Live, you dipshits. Live.

Brains on December 22, 2010 at 10:24 PM

Also, we’re not locking up people for ten years for taking a puff of marijuana. We’re locking up relatively NOBODY for taking a puff of marijuana and it’s sad.

Brains on December 22, 2010 at 10:26 PM

(1980-2009 – Total, marijuana and drug arrests by year) Although the intent of a ‘War on Drugs’ may have been to target drug smugglers and ‘King Pins,’ over half (51.6%) of the 1,663,582 total 2009 arrests for drug abuse violations were for marijuana — a calculated total of 858,408. Of those, an estimated 758,593 people (45.6%) were arrested for marijuana possession alone. By contrast in 2000, a total of 734,497 Americans were arrested for marijuana offenses, of which 646,042 were for possession alone.

Drug war facts.

fourdeucer on December 22, 2010 at 10:31 PM

Clearly we need to singularly focus the power of the Federal Government not on this petty Marajawanna stuff but the real criminal behavior that is costing the treasury so dearly.

…….OBESITY, and the criminals (just like tobacco companies that knew cigarettes killed) that push products that make people fatties. HOSTESS, DOLLY MADISON, MCDONALDS, GOLDEN CORRAL, MSG LOADED CHINESE FOOD. MORTON SALT.

Bring these suckers down……and let the kids dope on the harmless stuff like locoweed and heck let them do a little Coke and Hash, I mean it’s costing way too much to enforce it.

PappyD61 on December 23, 2010 at 12:40 AM

these young druggies would be fine if they were just illegals coming across the border in South Texas…..

…..Mexidopers could get free Medicare, medicaid, welfare, AFDC, and soon…..in state College tuition (and grants to pay for it natch).

PappyD61 on December 23, 2010 at 12:43 AM

Pat Robertson is a pot-smoking dopeshead libertarian!!!111!1!1

John the Libertarian on December 23, 2010 at 12:51 AM

If pot is legalized, which Fed. agency will oversee it? FDA? USDA? Then we’d have “Potford”. The got to protect the children FLOTUS? It better not be sweet!!!

If the FLOTUS has her way, there won’t be enough munchies to go around if pot is legalized…

Gohawgs on December 23, 2010 at 1:03 AM

Jesus was a doper.

exdeadhead on December 22, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Yeah, He was a drunk, too. R

Bizarro No. 1 on December 23, 2010 at 1:58 AM

Oops – browser mess up! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on December 23, 2010 at 1:58 AM

Jesus was a doper.

exdeadhead on December 22, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Yeah, He was a drunk, too. Remember all of that water He turned to wine? He loves alcohol!

Also, Jesus believes that’s while it should be ok legally for people to drink themselves into oblivion if they choose, He believes marijuana usage should result in the death penalty.

Bizarro No. 1 on December 23, 2010 at 2:02 AM

…believes that’s while…

FIFM

Bizarro No. 1 on December 23, 2010 at 2:05 AM

He’s part of the club that started the whole deal. Never too late to change your mind I guess. At least this time he has a valid point about the costs involved with the futile policy.

lexhamfox on December 23, 2010 at 2:15 AM

OH great.

Did hell freeze over?

There really should be an answer to this problem. But look at Mexico. Didn’t they legalize pot? Is that our future?

petunia on December 23, 2010 at 2:56 AM

And he’s right. That fight was lost looong ago.

Big John on December 23, 2010 at 3:55 AM

Brains on December 22, 2010 at 10:24 PM

What Brains said. Sounds like Dennis Miller.

Otis B on December 23, 2010 at 4:16 AM

Decriminalize it, legalize it, tax the crap out of it.

Knucklehead on December 22, 2010 at 7:44 PM
You do realize you’re setting yourself up for more trafficking if you “tax the crap out of it”, right ?

MetaThought on December 22, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Not really – they’ve been taxing the crap out of cigarettes and alcohol for years now (especially here in New York) – do you have any idea how much of that $11 pack of cigarettes is tax ??? MOST of it !!!

LODGE4 on December 23, 2010 at 8:05 AM

I have asked this question once and I will ask it yet again, but who exactly gives a flying flaming frigging rat’s patootie in space what the heck Pat Robertson has to say about anything?

His past “Predictions From God Himself” have been wrong around 110% of the time, so why even both paying attention to this fool?

pilamaye on December 23, 2010 at 8:40 AM

Not terribly surprised. I’ve been part of the Evangelical “movement” for the last two decades and I don’t recall a lot of angst over this issue. Anti-drugs? Sure… but as a moral and personal issue… the “drug war” wasn’t the focus of a lot of conversations (or any that I can recall).

I’ve been in youth work and there were teachings on drugs AND alcohol… without anyone calling for prohibition.

The opposition to legalization was primarily a reaction to those who were calling for it. That is, since the call for legalization seemed to be coming from hippie potheads and the argument being that it, “like, you know expands your mind, dude” wasn’t very attractive.

Pat is just looking at this from a reasonable standpoint. The merits of the “drug war” have been questioned by conservatives (WFB, etc.) for decades. Of course, the first wave will always be to try and fight it by interdiction and prosecution (making it expensive in financial and personal terms)… which is a reasonable thing to do (increasing the cost of any product tends to lessen its use).

I think many of us are willing to try legalization BUT I’d rather see it start at the state level so the rest of the states can take a look at how it will work (if at all).

mankai on December 23, 2010 at 8:48 AM

pilamaye on December 23, 2010 at 8:40 AM

Let me say that I agree with you in general, but it’s significant because it does open a door in social conservative corners of the country.

Now, if Pat had secretly intervened in the financial crisis in Greece claiming that the Assemblies of God churches were superior to the civil authority and thus above any financial scrutiny… then there would be no story… because I am told that HA doesn’t concern itself with international religious matters.

/yeah i went there

mankai on December 23, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Why is this a surprise? William F. Buckley was for drug legalization too. Drug prohibition, like alcohol prohibition are part of the PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT…not the christian movement. you didn’t see Wilberforce campaign against opium dens….because christians believe in personal responsiblity. its the PROGESSIVES (ie socialists) that are trying to regulate every area of our lives…and they are health nazis….hell in nazi germany they had the first anti-smoking campaign.

right4life on December 23, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Yeah, He was a drunk, too. Remember all of that water He turned to wine? He loves alcohol!

Also, Jesus believes that’s while it should be ok legally for people to drink themselves into oblivion if they choose, He believes marijuana usage should result in the death penalty.

Bizarro No. 1 on December 23, 2010 at 2:02 AM

Three possibilities here:
1) You forgot your sarc tag.
2) You are trying to be as offensive as possible for unstated personal reasons.
3) You wallow in ignorance like a pig in mud.

Extrafishy on December 23, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Three possibilities here:
1) You forgot your sarc tag.
2) You are trying to be as offensive as possible for unstated personal reasons.
3) You wallow in ignorance like a pig in mud.

Extrafishy on December 23, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Just three, huh? Why presume that I might have ‘forgotten’ a sarc tag, especially considering that I generally don’t like them? :)

btw, although I wasn’t being serious in my post, it is true that some of Jesus’ contemporaries did consider Him to be a drunkard, and a glutton, too. (Luke 7:34) It would be interesting to know how/why that could have been said about Him if He didn’t like to imbibe, wouldn’t it?

Bizarro No. 1 on December 23, 2010 at 11:55 AM

The government has no business legislating morality. All vice crimes should be done away with, including drugs, prostitution, polygamy, etc. The government has no business telling people how to live their lives. And for anyone who wants to tell me allowing people to be free of government interference will create theft and murder, etc. – we already have laws against those crimes.

woodNfish on December 23, 2010 at 1:46 PM

The Texas Public Policy Foundation and Right On Crime do not and will not support drug legalization. The issue we raise is over how best to deal with drug offenders, and the proper balance between incarceration and rehabilitation. We invite you to read our policy recommendations which can be found at: http://www.rightoncrime.com/priority-issues/substance-abuse/.

DavidGuenthner on December 23, 2010 at 2:35 PM