Pat Robertson supports legalizing weed, says the war on drugs has failed

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have already legalized the medical use of marijuana. The only time legalizing pot has been on the ballot, in 2010 in California, it went down to defeat.

Then there's Florida, which is nowhere close to getting a measure put on the ballot for a medical marijuana law. Recent citizen-led efforts to collect enough signatures to force the measure to be voted on by the citizenry have come nowhere close to what is required. An effort through the Legislature to get a measure placed directly on the ballot sponsored by Palm Beach House Democrat Mark Pafford has also gone nowhere the past two years in Tallahassee.

"I don't think we've looked at this in a mature way," Pafford told CL last December. "I will support making medical marijuana legal in this state," he says, "We need to be looking at decriminalizing marijuana."

In the meantime, it remains to be seen whether the 81-year-old Roberton's statement will have any further impact on the issue nationally. In recent years, the 700 Club host has lost loads of credibility for saying gay people cause hurricanes, that Haitians deserved the horrific earthquake that hit their nation in 2010, and for wondering aloud whether mac and cheese "was a black thing?"

In an interview with The New York Times on Thursday, evangelical Christian 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: this war on drugs just hasn’t succeeded.”

Advocates for legalizing pot are seizing upon the remarks, particularly in two Western states: Colorado and Washington state, where there are measures on the ballot this fall that would legalize the possession of weed up to an ounce, paving the way for regulated sales similar to alcohol.

In a statement released today, Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said Robertson's "clearly stated and well-reasoned comments throw a curve ball into the growing debate over legalizing marijuana."

"Defenders of marijuana prohibition … must be wondering if it's only a matter of time before theirs proves to be a lost cause," Nadelmann told the Associated Press.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]