Pat Robertson: Marijuana Should Be Treated Like Alcohol

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Pat Robertson, founder and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network

It isn’t every day that Pat Robertson says things that’ll endear himself to libertarians. But the prominent televangelist means it when he says that marijuana shouldn’t be viewed differently than alcohol.

That was what Robertson conveyed in a new interview with the New York Times. “If people can go into a liquor store and buy a bottle of alcohol and drink it at home legally, then why do we say that the use of this other substance is somehow criminal?” he said.

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His refrain is similar to what legalization activists have been saying for years and appears in line with the 50% of Americans who favor making the drug legal, according to a October 2011 Gallup poll. Conservatives (and GOP presidential contenders not named Ron Paul), however, might be less likely to agree.

Robertson’s stance isn’t new, as the newspaper notes. In 2010, he said as much on his show The 700 Club, remarking that “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.”

After his 2010 remarks, a Christian Broadcasting Network spokesperson told CNN that Robertson “did not call for the decriminalization of marijuana. He was advocating that our government revisit the severity of the existing laws.” Now, instead of just wishing for less harsh sentences for marijuana users, the Times says he’s “apparently fully embraced” legalizing the drug.

PHOTOS: Cannabis Culture