Pat Robertson says legalize marijuana: Do other evangelicals agree?

TV evangelist Pat Robertson’s latest comments in favor of marijuana legalization don’t seem likely to be met with a huge … Continued

TV evangelist Pat Robertson’s latest comments in favor of marijuana legalization don’t seem likely to be met with a huge rush of support from other evangelicals.

The well-known media figure, one-time GOP presidential candidate and minister made comments Wednesday to the New York Times that echo — and amplify — previous statements he’s made about how the war on drugs has been unsuccessful. Marijuana, he said this week, should be treated legally like alcohol; offenders are wrongly locked up with violent criminals, he said.

Clem Britt


In this Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 file picture, Rev. Pat Robertson talks to attendees at a prayer breakfast as part of inaugural ceremonies for Virginia Gov.-elect Bob Mcdonnell at the Capitol in Richmond, Va.

But some broad surveys show evangelicals generally don’t agree with him. A Pew survey about American views on marijuana legalization from 2010 showed that while 41 percent of Americans overall support it, 25 percent of white evangelicals do. Forty-two percent of Catholics and mainline Protestant support legalization.

The news this week was met by evangelical magazine Christianity Today with this headline: “Pat Robertson Thinks It’s High Time To Legalize Marijuana.”

Well-known evangelical blogger Brett McCracken, managing editor of Biola Magazine at Biola University, said young evangelicals “laugh at Robertson,” as a caricature of an evangelist and wouldn’t see him as a role model, even if their cohort would be expected to be more open to legalizing drugs.

Views on the use of medical marijuana among American evangelicals, however, are varied.

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  • aussiebones

    Just suprised he’s still alive …must be that glaucoma talking
    maybe when president Newt makes Mars into a State they can legalize it there Pat

  • spbaugh1947

    Bravos to Pat Robertson for his position on marijuana decriminalization. Every once in awhile he displays extraordinary common sense, along with the fortitude to challenge popular opinion.

  • sherpadoug37754

    I knew that if the man lived long enough he’d sooner or later say something sensible.

  • dcrswm

    How dare people make their own decisions…..shame on them.

  • Duncan-20903

    It takes about 5 minutes inside my world for youth to understand that the propaganda against pot is built on a platform of bald faced lies, half truths and hysterical rhetoric. Why wouldn’t youth then conclude that the case against using cocaine is based on the same platform of lies?

    In the latest Monitoring The Future survey we find that pot use among youth is at a 30 year high, while their use of drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco is at 30 year lows. Yet you want to continue embracing proven failure.

    BTW, the study you cite was done in 1994. Overall use of cocaine has fallen off of a cliff since that time, but the popularity of enjoying cannabis has skyrocketed.

    …and aside from all that all evidence to date supports the assertion that decriminalization of cannabis won’t increase use. Arresting adults simply does not cause youth use to decline, and from the drinking alcohol and tobacco incidence of use we can see that age limits enforced at the point of sale work. Assigning the retail distribution to persons willing to commit felonies in the normal course of business does not.

  • fakedude2

    In countries where cannabis has been decriminalized, for example Portugal and the Netherlands, the youth drug usage rates are significantly lower than in the USA. If you actually cared about reducing youth drug usage rates you would support decriminalization.

  • citizen625

    He probably wants you write down you support this and then will turn around and use that admission against you. Never trust an evangelical from Yale whose daddy was a US senator. Who made millions from blood diamonds.

  • zeitgeist1776

    sorta reminds me of the time Walter Cronkite came back from Viet Nam and said we were losing the war. A rear guard action may be fought for some time yet, but i feel it is going to happen in my lifetime.

  • cs9243

    This is one of Robertson’s crazy statement. The scientific literature is clear that marijuana is addictive and that its use significantly impairs bodily and mental functions. Marijuana use is associated with memory loss, cancer, immune system deficiencies, heart disease, and birth defects, among other conditions. Even where decriminalized, marijuana trafficking remains a source of violence, crime, and social disintegration. This is the truth.

  • zeitgeist1776

    Pilate asked “what is Truth?”. I do not think he ever got an answer. Alcohol is linked to cirrhosis, mental deterioation, obesity, diabetes, spouse abuse, and economic woes. Just go to an Indian Reservation. Some have banned alcohol on the Reservation due to the problems it causes. We tried Prohibition. The Mafia was born. Alochol was legalized again, and to be true peace and justice did not reign supreme once again, but organized crime had to find other sources of income. Drugs and prostitution served until Las Vegas came along. Criminals do not turn to crossstitch once a source of income goes away. They prefer being criminals. But it will direct their efforts elsewhere.

  • kirkmuse

    The question of do you support the legalization of marijuana is the wrong question. The question should be: “Do you want marijuana to remain completely
    unregulated, untaxed and controlled by criminal gangs?”

  • Ilisidi

    I’ve thought for years that we were losing the War on Drugs. As things stand now, I see only two ways we can go. We can legalize ALL now-illegal drugs — take the siren song of “it’s illegal” away and many won’t be so eager to try them (my mother said that more people started drinking during Prohibition than had ever done so before), not to mention cutting out one of the big criminal moneymakers (I think we should also legalize prostitution and set “the girls” up in special houses, where they can get medical care and without the pimps to mistreat and use them). Or we can take a much more draconian approach and make it a death sentence, as it is in some countries. But we can’t continue the way we are: it just doesn’t work.

  • Zebra

    Even if your dubious assertions were true, alcohol and tobacco have conclusively been shown to be extremely bad for user’s health.

    If you promote marijuana prohibition without promoting alcohol and tobacco prohibition you’re just supporting rent seeking for alcohol and tobacco companies.

  • live_free_or_die

    someone’s finally taken a crucifix and beaten some sense into this racist lunatic.

  • oversoul

    Absolute nonsense.

  • oversoul

    Absolute nonsense.

  • oversoul

    Look no further than the STATE OF CALIFORNIA for seeing how virtually legalized marijuana (a prescription is available to anyone willing to purchase one) to see that legalized pot has zero impact in regards to increasing crime or other drug use.

  • Reverend_Jim

    Bring back the wild wild west ….. make everything legal….

  • moninga1

    Pat Robertson remains despicable even when I agree with him on something. I wonder how many CongoZairians are cursing him to Hell based on his assistance of Mobutu in the gang rape of their country. He was Mobutu’s shill with the Reagan Bush gang while being paid in mining and timber concessions in Katanga province. There is documentation of this.

  • MommaJ1

    More lies…

  • MommaJ1

    No…these are lies that you government has filled your head with!

  • MommaJ1

    Do some research…you will find that the only studies that you find that are against cannabis are done by the people that would be out of a job if it were legalized…seriously!

  • Tonyfromignoredrealityblogcom

    Rev. Robertson,
    A war that was never fought in no way could ever be won. Please take the time to go to the web or have someone go read it for you and look up an article titled
    “legalize it, a liberal battlecry”.
    It went viral and hit number one on Google in record time.
    It just may show you the hidden side of what you now profess.

  • EastCoastCommentator

    Just because the “war’ on (fill in the blank) is not going well does not mean to waive the white flag. The war on crime is not over, shall we decriminalize everything now?

    Anyone that has ever smoke it knows legalizing pot would dumb-down the entire country. (some days, it would appear we are already there)

    If he is truly endorsing legalizing pot, he has lost his mind.

  • fakedude2

    To advocate that we continue to imprison adults simply for smoking a plant that you’re scared of is not only contradictory to the ideals of a free society, but it is downright cruel and sadistic. This may be ok with you personally, maybe that’s just who you are, but our government should have no part of it. If you truly feel another individual smoking a plant is just cause for you to lock them away for years you have a very warped sense of right and wrong.

    This issue should have nothing to do with pride or ‘winning’, and everything to do with basic common decency toward your fellow man.

  • ccnl1

    As we the people, i.e. the federal government, have decided how things are to be done when it comes to regulating drugs:

    “Marijuana-based drug Sativex may get FDA approval ?

    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    SAN FRANCISCO – A quarter-century after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first prescription drugs based on the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, additional medicines derived from or inspired by the cannabis plant itself could soon be making their way to pharmacy shelves, according to drug companies, small biotech firms and university scientists.”

    A British company, GW Pharma, is in advanced clinical trials for the world’s first pharmaceutical developed from raw marijuana instead of synthetic equivalents- a mouth spray it hopes to market in the U.S. as a treatment for cancer pain. And it hopes to see FDA approval by the end of 2013.

  • sicksidvt

    I can’t believe I actually agree with this guy on something. I wouldn’t even smoke it if it were legal, but its so stupid that its illegal. Make it 21 and over only, tax the crap out of it, regulate it so its safe and not coming from cartels, and let adults make the adult choice to use it or not.