cannabisnews.com: Robertson Pleases Pot-Legalization Groups

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††Robertson Pleases Pot-Legalization Groups

Posted by CN Staff on December 24, 2010 at 07:20:14 PT
By Sandhya Somashekhar, WP Staff Writers†
Source: Washington Post †

USA -- Television evangelist Pat Robertson has made inflammatory remarks in recent years that offend gays, Muslims and others, but a recent comment he made on his Christian Broadcasting Network was more notable for whom it pleased: people who want to see marijuana legalized. "We're locking up people that take a couple of puffs of marijuana, and the next thing you know they've got 10 years," the controversial pastor said on "The 700 Club" on Dec. 16, in a clip unearthed by bloggers this week. "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 and that kind of thing, I mean, it's just, it's costing us a fortune and it's ruining young people."
It was a surprising admission from a Christian conservative and favorite target of liberals, who have pounced on his assertions that the earthquake that devastated Haiti's capital city in January resulted from a pact with the Devil, for example, or that Hurricane Katrina was punishment for abortion and the country's general moral decay. His views on marijuana lit up the Internet on Thursday because they seemingly aligned him with liberal groups that have long complained of the punitive nature of the nation's drug laws. The comments have been seized on by pro-marijuana groups that cite them as evidence that their message is gaining traction not only in the mainstream but within the religious right. "His voice is respected by hundreds of thousands or millions of people who might not otherwise think about this issue seriously. His comments were a very important step forward," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a group that supports legalizing and taxing marijuana. "The only way that this country's going to end up with more sensible and sane drug laws is if people call for it from across the political spectrum." On Thursday, a CBN spokesman said in an e-mail that Robertson is "unequivocally" against illegal drug use and that he does not support legalizing marijuana. The nation's attitude toward marijuana has changed dramatically over the past two decades. In an October Washington Post poll, 43 percent of respondents said they would be in favor of legalizing the possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use - up from 22 percent in 1997. Fifteen states and the District allow marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes, and there are signs that public consternation is growing over the sometimes severe punishments doled out for minor drug offenses. In Montana last week, a group of potential jurors objected en masse upon learning that a man was arrested on marijuana possession. The uprising led the prosecution to seek a plea deal. Self-described conservatives remain the most opposed to legalizing marijuana, with 69 percent against such a change in the laws in the Post poll. But there have been recent efforts to convince conservatives that it is in line with their small-government philosophy to consider alternatives to imprisonment for minor drug offenses. Gary Johnson, a libertarian and former Republican governor of New Mexico, took his pro-legalization message to tea party rallies this summer. Gov. Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. (R-Ind.) this month embraced a proposal to reduce sentences for nonviolent offenders, including some drug criminals, and to increase access to drug treatment programs - in the name of government efficiency. "Conservatives for a long time have supported a one-size-fits-all solution, which is: Lock them up and throw away the key. There's a growing realization that it hasn't worked very well and it's been very expensive," said David Guenthner, spokesman for Right on Crime, a Texas-based group that advocates for criminal justice reforms from a conservative perspective. The group does not support decriminalizing marijuana, however. Guenthner would not comment on Robertson's remarks, which came after "The 700 Club" aired a segment on Right on Crime and faith-based programs in prisons. "Those men and women want to know the Lord, but there's something else we've got to recognize. . . . These judges, they say, they throw their hands up and say, there's nothing we can do because of these mandatory sentences," Robertson said. He continued: "We've got to take a look at what we're considering crimes, and that's one of them. . . . Young people go into prison . . . as youths and they come out as hardened criminals, and it's not a good thing." Polling director Jon Cohen contributed to this report. Source: Washington Post (DC)Author: Sandhya Somashekhar, Washington Post Staff Writer Published:  December 24, 2010Copyright: 2010 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters washpost.com URL: http://drugsense.org/url/zsoCbiBiWebsite: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ CannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml

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Comment #16 posted by FoM on December 28, 2010 at 08:00:15 PT

John Tyler
Amen to that. I quit going to church because of him many years ago. When he said he was going to get involved in politics and try to help make laws to control the decline in the moral values of our country that was all I could handle. Politics and religion should never mix.
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Comment #15 posted by John Tyler on December 28, 2010 at 07:44:24 PT

I donít take him seriously
Pat Robertson has publicly said so many weird things over the years, that I donít take him seriously on anything he says.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on December 28, 2010 at 06:11:47 PT

John Tyler
I knew he wasn't for real marijuana reform. He sees making money and religious conversion by using a faith based program. I really find it hard to believe that anyone thought he was serious.
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Comment #13 posted by John Tyler on December 27, 2010 at 22:29:08 PT

can't have both ways
Itís weird isnít it that some cannabis prohibitionists donít like the idea of people getting arrested for cannabis and all of the problems connected with it, especially if it happened to someone they know or care about, however they claim that they are not for decriminalization or legalization. Well, you canít have it both ways. If it remains illegal, people will continue to get arrested and screwed over by the system. If it is legal, they will not get arrested. Pick the right side. If you are so concerned with people getting chewed up by the system for something like cannabis, then work to change the system. Donít talk out of both sides of your mouth; it makes you look like a fool.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on December 27, 2010 at 19:55:06 PT

Pat Robertson Did Not Call For Decriminalization
Pat Robertson Did Not Call For The Decriminalization Of Marijuana     Following A Story On "The 700 Club" About A Faith-Based Rehabilitation Program That Has Saved The Government Millions And Lowered The Incidence Of Repeat Offenders, Robertson Advocated For Revisiting The Severity Of Laws Rather Than Mandatory Sentences For Young People.Virginia Beach, VA (PRWEB) December 24, 2010 The Christian Broadcasting Network has released the following statement to clarify comments made by Pat Robertson on the December 16th episode of The 700 Club.Chris Roslan, spokesman for CBN, said, "Dr. Robertson did not call for the decriminalization of marijuana. He was advocating that our government revisit the severity of the existing laws because mandatory drug sentences do harm to many young people who go to prison and come out as hardened criminals. He was also pointing out that these mandatory sentences needlessly cost our government millions of dollars when there are better approaches available. Dr. Robertsonís comments followed a CBN News story about a group of conservatives who have proven that faith-based rehabilitation for criminals has resulted in lower repeat offenders and saved the government millions of dollars. Dr. Robertson unequivocally stated that he is against the use of illegal drugs.ĒURL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/prweb/20101224/bs_prweb/prweb4924004
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Comment #11 posted by paulpeterson on December 27, 2010 at 08:41:58 PT:

Curly-kowski IS IN PORTUGAL looking at DE-CRIM
How about this "TRIPLE CROWN" conjunction of major shifts in public acceptance of change?1) that MARIJUANA MUTINY CASE in Montana, that just got LA-TIMES coverage, with good dialogue, about Joe Citizen(s) chiming in about not busting for a few good buds2) Pat "700 thousand club" Robertson, chiming in with the conservative Right, about doing right for a change here3) Today's Des Moines Register, had a FRONT-PAGE STORY, about Portugal's decrim successes, since 2000, and how Gil, Curly-kowski, is there, looking at what worked for them, (this story from the Associated Press, meaning that little corn crib Iowa editors know this angle is gaining traction, Jackson, and that's not too shabby).Recall, that the little mouse has roared also (Iowa, the farmacist pholks, that is), by being the first "Board of Review" to recommend rescheduling, from Class 1 to Class 2 (but, oddly enough, Iowa has had pot in BOTH SCHEDULES, since 1979, weird eh?).Also note that the Illinois Senate already passed a MM revamp last May, and they are just a few votes shy of passing the bill through the Illinois House, and there is a slim chance of passage in the January "veto" session or whatever they call it.So this "TRIPLE CROWN" sea-change, just might shake loose a few more apples on that FORBIDDEN FRUIT TREE here in little Garden of Eden, the "heartland", the "bread basket" of the nation, and that's that.Everybody should be contacting the 700 CLUB, to advance their belief that good people are watching and supporting them in their own bold step into the gauntlet here. You just know that Bible "thumpers" from all over the realm are thumping them for good for what Pat Robertson said, so we need to communicate messages of support to counter-balance the anty rhetoric, OK?PAUL PETERSON 712-732-1009
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Comment #10 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on December 25, 2010 at 09:28:49 PT

Joe Biden, were you born in a cabbage patch?
What would you think of me, if I thought you were?What do you think of the people who still believe the President was born in Kenya, despite all the evidence to the contrary?What do you think of people who believe in myths, urban legends, and lies that have been proven over and over again to be false and never made sense to begin with?That's what we think of you, Joe.
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on December 25, 2010 at 07:06:31 PT

Noam Chomsky says:
"No need to speak truth to power, they already know the truth"That my be true Noam, but it does not hurt to let them know that WE know the truth!We're comin' ta getcha!
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Comment #8 posted by Canis420 on December 24, 2010 at 21:27:30 PT:

GCW
Thank you...I am real tired of pols spouting this nonsense. This guy is second in command and is supposed to be intelligent! I wonder if he will even hear about the letter. His handlers will probably take care of it and if I get a response it will be from them.
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on December 24, 2010 at 15:33:18 PT

Canis420,
I liked Your letter to the Vice.
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Comment #6 posted by RevRayGreen on December 24, 2010 at 14:54:07 PT

Was on the national airwaves last night
on Tony Bruno-'Into the Night' FOX Sports radio 10pm or so 1460am KXNO DSMhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p99dMXE3Rdc'Green Central Station' present a Festivus 2010 video for you on 12/23/10.Included is Illinois Multiple Sclerosis patient Julie Falco and the Illinois Medical Marijuana Project PSA that can be heard in bordering Iowa cities.
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Comment #5 posted by Canis420 on December 24, 2010 at 14:45:05 PT:

Biden
In response to Pat Robertson Biden said he still believes that Cannabis is a gateway drug. So I wrote him a letter:
Mr. Vice President
There are several subject categories that my note to you could fall under but I chose civil rights as the most important. I read a story that quoted your opinions, in response to Pat Robertson, on the re-legalization of the Cannabis plant. You stated that you still believe it is a gateway drug. There are several recent studies that have disproved this (theory) and most researchers do not ascribe to this position. When you look at this theory objectively one has to say yes, most heroin, meth and cocaine addicts used Cannabis before they used these other much more harmful substances. One has to also look at the much more prevalent number of people that just use Cannabis and do not move on to other substances. The gateway theory is based in flawed logic. People in positions such as yours should make statements not based in theory or blatant propaganda but in scientific fact. There is NO scientific basis for your statement. Recently a study was published that concluded teenagers use Cannabis more frequently than tobacco. Mr Kerlikowski blamed this on the medical Cannabis industry and everything except the failed Cannabis policies of the last 70 years. Tobacco is regulated and Cannabis is not. This is the reason for the results in the study. Most people do not believe anything the government tells them about the Cannabis plant anymore as they have lied to the populus for decades. It is absurd that LEO's in Florida can arrest, cage, seize assets, and give an otherwise law abiding citizen a criminal record for life over small amounts (grams) of this plant material. These laws must change. They breed contempt for the law enforcement community and ruin lives. President Nixon's own commission (Shafer Commission) recommended legalization in the 70's. Nixon threw it in the trash. Mr. Vice President, I urge you to educate yourself on this issue and you will find that the recent science performed by independent researchers point towards legalization. 

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Comment #4 posted by konagold on December 24, 2010 at 10:41:06 PT

like I said on the 16th
hell has frozen over
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on December 24, 2010 at 09:42:56 PT

Storm Crow
I didn't see your comment when I posted mine. We sure think alike. Merry Christmas!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on December 24, 2010 at 09:40:06 PT

Just a Comment
I hope they make Pat Robertson explain if he is for total legalization or that the punishment should fit the crime like Biden said.Robertson said: "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," Robertson said.My thought is a few ounces isn't legalization. Does Robertson believe that it should cover growers and suppliers of marijuana?
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Comment #1 posted by Storm Crow on December 24, 2010 at 09:37:02 PT

Now, just which is it? 
 "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 and that kind of thing, I mean, it's just, it's costing us a fortune and it's ruining young people." Or "On Thursday, a CBN spokesman said in an e-mail that Robertson is "unequivocally" against illegal drug use and that he does not support legalizing marijuana."If you don't support "criminalization" and maintaining the illegality of cannabis, logically you must be supporting it's opposites- DECRIMINALIZATION/ LEGALIZATION! CBN is going to do a lot of fast talking to try to erase Mr. Robertson's sensible statement! They'll fail!Gosh, I love the internet- the truth just keeps popping up! And once it's out, it spreads! 
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