RICHMOND, Va. - Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says marijuana should be legalized and treated like alcohol because the government’s war on drugs has failed.
The outspoken evangelical Christian and host of “The 700 Club’’ on the Christian Broadcasting Network said the war on drugs is costing taxpayers billions. He said people should not be sent to prison for marijuana possession.
The 81-year-old first became a self-proclaimed “hero of the hippie culture’’ in 2010 when he called for ending mandatory prison sentences for marijuana possession convictions.
“I just think it’s shocking how many of these young people wind up in prison and they get turned into hardcore criminals because they had a possession of a very small amount of a controlled substance,’’ Robertson said on his show March 1.
Robertson’s support for legalizing pot appeared in a New York Times story published Thursday.
“I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol,’’ Robertson was quoted as saying. “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?’’