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March 8th, 2012
01:22 PM ET

Pat Robertson speaks out for marijuana legalization

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Belief Blog

(CNN) - Televangelist Pat Robertson is raising eyebrows, and cheers from activists who are usually his opponents on political issues, by calling for the legalization of marijuana.

“I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol,” Robertson told The New York Times on Wednesday. “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.”

The comments came after Robertson affirmed his support for marijuana decriminalization - which he had voiced in 2010 - on his TV show, “The 700 Club,” last week.

“I became sort of a hero of the hippie culture, I guess, when I said I think we ought to decriminalize the possession of marijuana,” Robertson, 81, said on his Christian Broadcasting Network show.

“I just think it's shocking how many of these young people wind up in prison and they get turned into hard-core criminals because they had a possession of a very small amount of controlled substance,” he said on his show. “The whole thing is crazy.”

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Robertson told the Times that he “absolutely” supports pro-marijuana legalization ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington, though he said he would not actively campaign for them.

Many marijuana legalization advocates, who tend to be liberal or libertarian and who often see Robertson as a boogeyman for his opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion rights, have welcomed Robertson’s support while also noting their surprise.

“Pat Robertson's clearly stated and well-reasoned comments throw a curve ball into the growing debate over legalizing marijuana,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the pro-marijuana legalization Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement Thursday.

“The millions of people who listen to and respect him are mostly conservatives, Republicans and older Americans (who) … have been the least likely to support legalizing marijuana,” Nadelmann said.

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A spokesman for Robertson said Thursday that the televangelist was inundated with interview requests and that he was unavailable for immediate comment.

Robertson said on his show last week that he opposed incarceration for marijuana offenses on humanitarian grounds and because of the costs involved.

“We've just got to change the laws,” he said. “We cannot allow this to continue. It is sapping our vitality. Think of this great land of freedom. We have the highest rate of incarceration of any nation on the face of the Earth. That's a shocking statistic.”

In 2010, Robertson spoke on “The 700 Club” about decriminalizing marijuana but didn’t go so far as to advocate legalizing it.

“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 said at the time. “…We’ve got to take a look at what we’re considering crimes and that’s one of ’em.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Politics

soundoff (1,395 Responses)
  1. aChristian4Cannabis

    As one of the millions, yes millions, of Christians who use this wondrous plant that is a gift of healing from GOD for medicinal purposes, yet commit no other other crime. Not everyone who uses this plant is "hippie", many of us are otherwise conservative, and yet must hide behind the "green wall" i rejoice that a Christian leader would finally speak out. Investigate the hundreds of studies being done worldwide (including in Israel) that show the multiple applications and benefits of this plant to people with a myriad of illnesses, without hardly any side effects. I was listening before (a few weeks back) when Pat made similar comments about the ridiculous policies in this country over marijuana and incarceration, and REJOICED that he had the guts to say something. Where is the compassion fellow Christians?
    I would encourage other Christian leaders to begin to do the same. As Pat said, this plant is literally harmless compared to alcohol and other easily attained and addictive pharmacological products that doctors willingly hand out legally, knowing the consequences. My wife survived cancer thanks to this plant, so i can honestly say I know. I think the church would find many new members though acceptance and support of people who are societal outcasts over a ridiculous perpetuation of political garbage. Blessings to Pat, still relevant after all these years.
    If the Republican Party understood this issue, they could have a sure thing in November......Why is iRon Paul the only canidate who seems to have common sense, but is ignored by his own party.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  2. Guard1an

    In the above article by CNN, the CBN original broadcast aired on March 1, 2012. Some facts covered by the show, that can be found at CBN dot com. The video clip is between time stamps 20:40 to 29:25.

    Some facts stated on the program:
    US has 5% of the worlds total population with 25% of worlds total prisoners.
    US has the highest rate of incarceration in the entire world, per capita.
    California spends more money on prisons than on schools.
    Only 30% of the US prisoners are considered dangerous to be considered for actual jail time.
    The skills learned in prison actually undercut the public's safety, because they interact with dangerous criminals and once released from prison, the person now has a criminal record preventing them from obtaining meaningful employment.

    Portions of the actual script

    28:47 Pat: "..Terry its time for change.It's time that I applaud these guys"

    28:53 Terry: Well the statistics are pretty clear. I mean something has to be done and ought to be done quickly and it's been like this for a long time."

    29:00 Pat: "...Well I mean more and more prisons, more and more crime and and more and .. I mean it's just shocking. Especially this business about drug offenses. I mean it's time we stop locking up people for possession of M A R I J U A NA. I mean ..you know we just can't do it anymore."

    29:16 Terry: "Well we kind of pick and choose our drugs of choice."

    29:28 Pat: "That's right! You don't lock em up for booze, I mean unless they kill someone on the highway."

    29:23 Terry: "Yeah exactly!"

    29:24 Pat: "Ok"

    March 9, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  3. Nii Croffie

    i loves me some chronic, and peenis 2.

    March 9, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  4. JP

    A study by The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University showed that adolescents who used marijuana were 85 times more likely to use cocaine than adolescents who abstained. No Christian in his or her right mind would support marijuana legalization. Read more: http://christiandiarist.com/2012/03/09/has-pat-robertson-lost-his-mind/

    March 9, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Have you got a link to that study? I can't seem to find it.
      Remember – just because cocaine users smoke pot doesn't mean that pot smokers use cocaine!
      The "gateway" myth has been debunked in numerous studies. Correlation does not connot causation.

      You'll note that the source you cited also says:
      "American teens ages 12-17 who in a typical day spend any time on social networking sites are at increased risk of smoking, drinking and drug use."
      Facebook is a gateway drug too! Make the internet illegal!

      March 9, 2012 at 11:22 am |
      • JP

        Doc, Do you deny that, if marijuana is legalized, there will be more pot smokers of all ages? And do you not agree that many of the those pot smokers will graduate to harder drugs, like cocaine, heroin and crystal meth?

        March 9, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • J.W

      It is probably correlated because the teens that use marijuana because it is illegal are more rebellious, so they are more like to rebel and do other illegal activities. If marijuana were legal it would not change that. Plus if it were only legal for adults it would have no affect on teens anymore than alcohol or cigarettes.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      JW: The correlation is that if you have to go to a dealer to get it illegally chances are that dealer has access to a lot more than marijuana and cocaine is more addictive, therefore more cash to be made.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • jay Dee

      Actually JP marijuana was legalized in Portugal in 2001 and usage rates of marijuana among teens dropped. Maybe because it lost some of that daring, renegade appeal that teenagers love so much.

      March 9, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • sam stone

      So, you are qualified to determine who is in their right mind?

      March 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • sam stone

      " And do you not agree that many of the those pot smokers will graduate to harder drugs, like cocaine, heroin and crystal meth?"

      I agree that some of those pot smoker will move on to harder drugs. How many, I do not know. Many people who start out on alcohol move on to harder drugs, too. Does that justify alcohol's prohibition? If pot is legal, I feel that alcohol sales drop significantly. And I think the alcohol pushers know it. Tell me, JP, what a blessing alcohol has been to our society.....we'll wait for you. For the record, JP, 100% of the junkies started out on milk. Drink up

      March 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
      • JP

        So, Sam, you don't believe that marijuana is a gateway drug? You believe it is as benign as milk?

        March 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Yes, I deny that Pot use leads to harder drugs.
      The LaGuardia report circa1938 was a six year study conducted by a team of scientists from the New York Academy of Medicine's. It's conclusion was that "The use of marijuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction. ...The instances are extremely rare where the habit of marihuana smoking is associated with addiction to these narcotics."
      The Center for Studies of Narcotics and Drug Abuse of the National Inst.itute of Mental Health in Jamaica published their findings in 1975 which found "One of the more interesting findings to emerge from this study relates to the 'stepping-stone' hypothesis. ... Nothing like that occurs among heavy, chronic ganja smokers of Jamaica. No other drugs were used, aside from aspirin, tea, alcohol, and tobacco."
      In 1982, Inst.itute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences released the results of their 15 month study of American pot smokers and concluded that " "There is no evidence to support the belief that the use of one drug will inevitably lead to the use of any other drug."
      The 1995 guidebook: Marijuana: Facts for Teens, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), states unequivocally that, "Most marijuana users do not go on to use other drugs."
      In addition, similar 1996 literature from the HHS reasons that the minority of marijuana users who do graduate to harder drugs do so not because of marijuana use, but because of marijuana prohibition. "Using marijuana puts children and teens in contact with people who are users and sellers of other drugs," states Marijuana: What Parents Need to Know. "So there is more of a chance for a marijuana user to be exposed and urged to try more drugs."
      In the Netherlands, where Marijuana is legal, just 1.8 percent of Dutch youth report having tried cocaine and 75 percent of adult cannabis users do not report other drug use.
      I found the specifics of the study cited in the original post with the 85% stat. and there are problems with it.
      As pointed out by Drs. John P. Morgan and Lynn Zimmer, this figure is close to meaningless. It was calculated by dividing the proportion of adolescent marijuana users who have ever used cocaine by the proportion of cocaine users who have never used marijuana. The high risk factor is a product not of the fact that so many marijuana users use cocaine, but that so many cocaine users used marijuana previously.
      "It is hardly a revelation that people who use one of the least popular drugs are likely to use the more popular ones - not only marijuana, but also alcohol," noted Morgan.
      So basically the only reason a pot smoke would move on to harder drugs is becuase the sale of pot is underground, in the hands of criminals who push those other, harder drugs. If it were regulated like booze, studies show that a pot smoker would be no more likely to become a coke head than someone who drinks beer.

      March 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
      • JP

        So do today's drug addicts go straight from non-marijuana use to cocaine, heroin, crystal meth or other other hard drugs?

        March 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @JP
      Do you need me to cite further studies that prove how the overwhelming majority of pot smokers do NOT use harder drugs?
      Most heroin addicts also smoke cigarettes. Is tobacco a gateway drug?
      Cocaine addicts are known to eat unhealthy food. Perhaps McDonald's is the REAL gateway...
      1st Lesson of Logic 101: CORRELATION DOES NOT CONNOTE CAUSATION
      Beware the Black Swan fallacy.

      March 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @JP
      As a teenager living in Victoria, BC just about everyone around me smoked pot – including my friends' parents.
      By the time I was 18, I had used hallucinogens extensively and also developed a problem with amphetamines – but I rarely ever smoked pot. I was dropping acid before I took my first toke.
      There were no "gateways" for me – it was simple curiosity and youthful hedonistic abandon.
      In the city where I live, there is a tacit approval of pot smoking. One can walk down the street puffing a joint and not be bothered. Downtown, there is The Hot Box Cafe where people openly smoke and the police don't care. The proprietors of teh establishment have a strict "no other drug" policy (including alcohol) and do not allow minors on the premesis – there have never been ANY problems.

      March 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • sam stone

      JP: No, I do not believe it is a gateway any more than I believe milk is, or alcohol is. If you want to play the correlation not causation game, it is very likely that more people started out drinking beer and smoking cigs before they went to marijuana. I believe the real gateway is prohibition. If you Google deaths from milk and death from marijuana, you will find that more die from the former than the latter. But, believe what you want.

      March 10, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • sam stone

      doc: kensington maket?

      March 10, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven

    March 9, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Jesus

      ~~~The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!~~...

      March 9, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Don't bother praying there is no god...

    March 9, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  7. Victor

    At last!!!. The world is awaking!!! Changing our approach to drugs will bring great benefits to our life. Decriminalizing drugs will be lethal to drug dealers and terrorists.

    March 9, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Tony Montana

      Exactly what I have been telling people for years.

      March 9, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • AGuest9

      And will be soon lethal to pedestrians.

      March 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • sam stone

      AGuest: As opposed to alcohol?

      March 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  8. Doc Vestibule

    Some time ago, I was diagnosed with an h-pylori negative duodenal ulcer. Becuase eating was painful, I lost a good 20 lbs in just a few weeks, suffered insomnia and soon began vomiting blood.
    I was an independent contractor at the time and thus had no insurance to cover the cost of medication.
    The drugs prescribed to me cost $80 a week and were only nominally effective with unpleasant side-effects.
    After 4 weeks or so, I tried marijuana instead. For $10 a week, my pain was dulled, my appet.ite came back and I was able to hold down food. Around two months after that, my ulcer was healed, my weight was back to normal, I could sleep through the night and generally just felt better. After all those weeks of daily use, I had no problems whatsoever stopping.
    Blanket prohibition of a plant that is an effective and natural analgesic AND which can be used to cheaply manufacture any number of industrial products is foolhardy and wasteful.
    While habitual use can enourage sloth and undue appreciation of bad music – but have you ever heard of anyone robbing a 7-11 in a fit of pot induced rage or to feed their weed jones?
    The costs of marijuana prohibition are so incredibly disproportionate to the benefits of its myriad uses, it is flabbergasting that it continues to be outlawed.

    March 9, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Good point Doc. Also marijuana is unmatched as an anti-nausea drug. Thus of great benefit to chemo patients.

      March 9, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Very good point indeed and as Steve can attest to, I eat like a mouse and usually have to force myself to eat. However my appeti.te increases immensely with the use of marijuana.

      March 9, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  9. Jose

    Would alcohol Prohibition ended without violence? I see the increasing violence surrounding the war on drugs as a signal that the end may be near.

    March 9, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Jimmy

      Just because you recently became aware of the violence, does not mean that it is new or increasing. In fact, our national crime statistics have been going down for 5 years straight.

      March 9, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  10. livingtxlife

    It isn't just hippies that support this legislation – I'm also a non-smoking, non-using gal from the burbs who just thinks the time our country spends on this isn't worth it!

    March 9, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Don't bother praying there is no god.

    March 9, 2012 at 8:22 am |
  12. Jimmy

    Dear Pro-marijuana legalization activists; you need to stop with the history lessons about Hearst and DuPont. While it is all true, it holds absolutely NO relevance to the situation today, and quite frankly, makes you look like conspiracy nuts. In all my years of hearing the history of Hemp being told to the ignorant, I have never once heard someone declare "Oh, well now that I know it was a conspiracy in the 20's and 30's, I am going to support legalization!" Just stick to modern day arguments and you will be doing us all a favor.

    March 9, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Guard1an

      "The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and 40 years after President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed." "Vast expenditures on criminalization and repressive measures directed at producers, traffickers and consumers of illegal drugs have clearly failed to effectively curtail supply or consumption. Apparent victories in eliminating one source or trafficking organization are negated almost instantly by the emergence of other sources and traffickers."

      – Global Commission On Drug Policy

      Commissioners:

      Asma Jahangir – human rights activist, former UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Extrajudicial and Summary Executions, Pakistan

      Carlos Fuentes – writer and public intellectual, MexicoCésar Gaviria – former President of Colômbia

      Ernesto Zedillo – former President of México

      Fernando Henrique Cardoso – former President of Brazil (chair)

      George Papandreou – Prime Minister of Greece

      George Shultz – former Secretary of State, United States (honorary chair)

      Javier Solana – former European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Spain

      John Whitehead – banker and civil servant, chair of the World Trade Center Memorial, United States

      Kofi Annan – former Secretary General of the United Nations, Ghana

      Louise Arbour – former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, president of the International Crisis Group, Canada

      Maria Cattaui – Member of the Board, Petroplus Holdings; former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce, Switzerland

      Marion Caspers-Merk – former State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Health, Germany

      Mario Vargas Llosa – writer and public intellectual, Peru

      Michel Kazatchkine – executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, France

      Paul Volcker – former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve and of the Economic Recovery Board, US

      Richard Branson – entrepreneur, advocate for social causes, founder of the Virgin Group, cofounder of The Elders, United Kingdom

      Ruth Dreifuss – former President of Switzerland and Minister of Home Affairs

      Thorvald Stoltenberg – former Minister of Foreign Affairs and UN High Commissioner

      March 9, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Guard1an

      5% think America does not have a serious drug abuse problem. Source: Angus-Reid
      10% Approve of Congress. (Lowest Rating in almost 40 years of conducting this poll) Source: Gallop
      11% Approve of Iran. Source: Gallop
      11% Approve of North Korea. Source: Gallop
      14% Approve of Afghanistan. Source: Gallop
      20% Believe in Aliens. Source: Reuters
      41% Of Republicans support making cannabis legal in the U.S. Source: Angus-Reid
      50% Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana Use. Source: Gallop
      53% Support legalization of Marijuana Age Group 18-34
      54% Support legalization of Marijuana Age Group 55 and over
      55% Average Total of Democrat, Republican and Independent. Support the legalization of marijuana. Source: Angus-Reid
      57% Support legalization of Marijuana Age Group 35-54
      61% Of Independents support making cannabis legal in the U.S. Source: Angus-Reid
      63% Of Democrats support making cannabis legal in the U.S. Source: Angus-Reid
      64% Think America has a serious drug abuse problem that affects the whole country. Source: Angus-Reid
      67% Think the "War On Drugs" has been a failure. Source: Angus-Reid

      March 9, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Guard1an

      Forbes: "The War On Drugs Hurts Businesses and Investors" By Eric E. Sterling
      March 1, 2012

      "In 1984, 1986 and 1988, Congress injected the U.S. anti-drug effort with legal steroids. As counsel to the House Crime Subcommittee during the “war on drugs,” I helped write many of those laws. But those laws, as well as hundreds of billions of dollars in enforcement, have not protected business from the consequences of drug prohibition. This is in large part because neither Congress nor the business community have ever thought systematically about the drug business, drug enforcement and the economy." "In the early 1980s, I helped Congress investigate how drug money laundering was compromising legal casino gambling as the drug business responded to the Bank Secrecy Act. Congress heard, but did not understand, how our drug laws hurt a sector of American business." "The 8,000 reports filed in 1985 have grown to over 14,800,000 in FY2011. What had been a minor inconvenience is now a major responsibility that costs banks hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Despite this burden, the great untaxed profits of illegal drug sales worldwide have enabled local drug trafficking gangs to transform into global criminal organizations." "All over the world, drug organizations depend upon corrupting border guards, customs inspectors, police, prosecutors, judges, legislators, cabinet ministers, military officers, intelligence agents, financial regulators, and presidents and prime ministers. Businesses cannot count on the integrity of government officials in such environments." "Violence is pervasive, law enforcement is largely ineffective, and impunity for using violence is rampant. Not only in Mexico, but in Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia, West Africa, and parts of Asia where the prohibition-fueled drug trade is extant, business personnel are
      frequently in danger. Domestically, there are additional consequences. In the 1980s, America’s crime rates were near historic highs. Congress took for granted that we needed to fight drugs with long sentences. Now crime rates are profoundly lower, but most analysts conclude long prison sentences have not been a major factor. The political dynamic of being tough on crime and drugs led to a dramatic expansion of the population with a criminal record. Those records are accessible by nearly every employer. Yet, few analysts have calculated the full impact of expanded criminal punishment that has reduced opportunities for education, job training, employment, credit, marriage, and ultimately, American productivity and consumer buying power."

      "Today, tens of millions of Americans — would-be consumers – because they have been convicted of a drug offense, aren’t earning what they could earn without a record. Our prison population, estimated as high as 2.3 million persons, is out of the car market." "How many cars could they sell if tens of millions of Americans did not have a conviction-suppressed income? A reduced average household income and credit capacity suppresses sales of goods and services for almost every American business. While most of those offenses were instances of youthful bad judgment, the consequences for the economy last for decades."

      "The business community needs a complete economic analysis of the impact of drug policy."

      March 9, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  13. Sarah

    I think this man just keeps getting crazier. He's really come out with some off-the-wall stuff the past few years. Eventually, CBN's going to have to ask this man to retire just to save their reputation.

    March 9, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Jimmy

      Sounds to me like he is finally getting a bit of sanity.

      March 9, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • Jimmy

      Then again, I'm sure you are happy throwing 18 year olds into jail for 10 years for having a couple joints.

      March 9, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • sam stone

      If someone talking sense threatens an organizations reputation, it doesn't speak well for the organization. "we can't have him talking sense, it threatens our dogma......."

      March 9, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • Jared

      Maybe he just studied his book a bit more...
      Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. ~ Genesis 1:29

      Where does the bible state some plants should be illegal, god only put that first apple down here as temptation, I'm pretty sure you can even eat those now tho.

      March 9, 2012 at 8:04 am |
  14. Reality

    A gruesome reminder:

    Ca-mel Cigarettes

    Early Slogans:
    Slow down. Pleasure up.
    It's your taste
    Where a man belongs
    More Doctors Smoke Ca-mels than any other Cigarette
    For Digestion's Sake – Smoke Ca-mels
    I'd walk a mile for a Ca-mel

    Then came the epidemics of lung cancer and emphysema !!!

    March 9, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • .....

      Hit report abuse on all reality bull sh it

      March 9, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • Jared

      See, I dont think anybody would deny that igniting ANYTHING and inhaling it is going to be detrimental to one's health. Alcohol in any amount kills brain cells, it is bad for you. Sugar as well, fewer non regulated things are as bad for you as this unavoidable substance. I think though as a free society we must allow our adult population to do what they want with their bodies....it's called LIBERTY! What blows me away is the same people that want big Gov. out of our lives....sorry our financial lives and gun toting lives are the same folks that invite them into our bodies and bedrooms.

      March 9, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • Reality

      Government, i.e. you and me, regulates traffic, tranportation safety, food and drug components, stock and financial markets, defense, environmental releases etc. etc. etc. Should we stop all of this for the sake of LIBERTY?

      March 9, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • sam stone

      i don't think anyone is suggesting getting rid of those protections in the name of liberty. i do not understand why what an adult consumes is any business of the criminal justice system

      March 10, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  15. AGuest9

    LOL, he finally lost his mind.

    March 9, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • sam stone

      what did he say that was wrong?

      March 9, 2012 at 7:51 am |
  16. Chuck

    Did he get hit on the head. One of the only rational things this man has ever said. Very well put Pat.

    March 9, 2012 at 7:46 am |
  17. Wingrider

    When we make tougher laws, and incarcerate more people, are we really heading in the right direction? If marijuana is legalized, taxed, and controlled as alcohol, then the tax revenue will alleviate all this tax debt, put drug dealers out of work, and lessen the tax burden of employing DEA officials. We could kill three or four birds with one stone.

    March 9, 2012 at 7:45 am |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 9, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • Jimmy

      The epitome of narcissism: Thinking that god hears and answers your prayers for a better back-hand at your upcoming tennis match, but ignores the 16,000 children who die of starvation related causes every day.

      March 9, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Jesus

      ~The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!~~...

      March 9, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Jimmy

      Dear Pro-marijuana legalization activists; you need to stop with the history lessons about Hearst and DuPont. While it is all true, it holds absolutely NO relevance to the situation today, and quite frankly, makes you look like conspiracy nuts. In all my years of hearing the history of Hemp being told to the ignorant, I have never once heard someone declare "Oh, well now that I know it was a conspiracy in the 20's and 30's, I am going to support legalization!" Just stick to modern day arguments and you will be doing us all a favor.

      March 9, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • jennymay

      @Jimmy... how bout this. Its not the government's job to tell me I can't have a plant. Its not the government's job to tell me I can drink a beer but not smoke a joint even though death and illness from alcohol is fairly prevalent and there has not been ONE recorded death from marijuana and it is used to ease pain symptons in people. How about its silly for the DEA to raid peaceful non profit medical marijuana dispenseries when there are real criminals on the street doing harm to people. How about the fact that dealers and criminals want to keep it illegal because it is to their benefit. How about any daily marijuana user I know is an intelligent, working citizen who pays their own way and its a waste to throw them into the system. How about even if marijuana does make you more stupid, that's not your business anymore than someone's night of binge drinking is. How about the fact that allowing the substance to be sold legally would reduce the amount of children who are able to obtain it. How about the fact that perscription drugs 'may cause cancer and in some cases death' and they are allowed to be sold on TV!! How about thefact that allowing people to grow a plant that would ease their chronic pain frees them from the exhorborant cost of perscription drugs?? How's that for modern day reasoning?

      March 9, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • sam stone

      jenny: it is clear headed reasoning. precisely why our politicians run from it

      March 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  19. carol

    Well, I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I think Pat Robertson got one thing right when he says he thinks marijuana should be legalized. I don't smoke it, but I used to. A few of my kids do occasionally. It's OK as long as it's not an all-day habit, just like alcohol. Actually, the pot smokers are fun and mellow, the heavy drinkers can get rude and angry. They are the ones that smash their beer bottles in the park beside my house. The pot smokers just listen to music and laugh.

    March 9, 2012 at 7:43 am |
  20. oldg gaffer

    I knew if I lived long enough Pat would say something I could agree with!

    The original case for making marijuana illegal was brought by two large industrialists – Wm. Randolph Hearst and the duPont family – who didn't want hemp competing with Hearst's large timber holdings (the pulp from which formed the paper for his "yellow" journalism) and duPont's new nylon fiber.

    Our marijuana policy has been one of total failure since it's inception, and it's well past time to remedy the situation by legalizing – not just decriminalizing – marijuana.

    March 9, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • henry

      Totally awesome!

      March 9, 2012 at 7:51 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.