Pat Robertson created a firestorm when he first called for the decriminalization of marijuana in December 2010, causing even his Christian Broadcasting Network’s own publicist to deny that that’s what he actually meant.
Well, in a March 1 segment of “The 700 Club” that went largely unnoticed, Dr. Robertson is at it again, reiterating his call for marijuana reform and even blaming liberals for the U.S.’s overincarceration problem.
We here in America make up 5% of the world’s population, but we make up 25% of jailed prisoners…
Every time the liberals pass a bill — I don’t care what it involves — they stick criminal sanctions on it. They don’t feel there is any way people are going to keep a law unless they can put them in jail.
I became sort of a hero of the hippie culture, I guess, when I said I think we ought to decriminalize the possession of marijuana.
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 controlled substance. The whole thing is crazy.
Check out Robertson’s comments in this video, starting at about 20:40 and going until about 29:25. Robertson’s comments begin as part of an introduction to a news story about how the NAACP and tea party activists are teaming up to push for criminal justice reform.
After the news story, Robertson’s continues his tirade against over-incarceration.
We’ve said, “we’re ‘conservative, we’re tough on crime.” That’s baloney. It’s costing us billions and billions of dollars.
Think of California. California is spending more money on prisons than it spends on schools. There’s something wrong about that equation.
We need to scrub the federal code and the state codes and take away these criminal penalties.
Putting people in jail at huge expense to the population is insanity.
Folks, we’ve gotta do something about this. We’ve just got to change the laws. We cannot allow this to continue. It is sapping our vitality. Think of this great land of freedom. We have the highest rate of incarceration of any nation on the face of the Earth. That’s a shocking statistic.
What is it we’re doing that is different? What we’re doing is turning a bunch of liberals loose writing laws — there’s this punitive spirit, the always want to punish people.
It’s time for change!
More and more prisons, more and more crime. It’s just shocking, especially this business about drug offenses. it’s time we stop locking up people for possession of marijuana. We just can’t do it anymore…You don’t lock ’em up for booze unless they kill somebody on the highway.
Will Robertson’s comments lead to more conservative politicians and elected officials speaking out for drug policy reform? Will they create room for progressives and Democrats who are sympathetic but are worried about being attacked from the right? What do you think?