Evangelist Pat Robertson "absolutely" supports Amendment 64

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Evangelist Pat Robertson "absolutely" supports Amendment 64

In a story that appeared in The New York Times, conservative evangelist Pat Robertson touted the need for ending marijuana prohibition and unexpectedly voiced his support for the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Colorado.

“I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol,” Mr. Robertson said in an interview on Wednesday. “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."

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For his part, Mr. Robertson said that he “absolutely” supported the ballot measures, though he would not campaign for them. “I’m not a crusader,” he said.

The "marijuana ought to be treated similar to alcohol" theme was present throughout the article, even delving into Robertson's personal decisions on whether to use the substances.

[He] said he saw little difference between smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol, a longstanding argument from far more liberal — and libertarian-minded — leaders.

“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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Mr. Robertson said he enjoyed a glass of wine now and then — “When I was in college, I hit it pretty hard, but that was before Christ.” He added that he did not think marijuana appeared in the Bible, though he noted that “Jesus made water into wine.”

Upon hearing the news, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol issued the following statement, which lent to a great coverage of the initiative, including news stories (see below) by Denver's Fox affiliate station, the Washington Post's "She the People" blog, the Colorado Independent, and Westword.

"We are pleased that Pat Robertson has publicly endorsed Colorado's initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol. Mr. Robertson's statement is especially powerful coming from someone who has been known to make a moral judgment or two in the past. But when it comes right down to it, he is saying what we are saying. Specifically, he pointed out that it makes absolutely no sense to allow people to use alcohol, but punish them for using marijuana. He has also decried the massive amount of money wasted on arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning people for marijuana-related offenses. Brick by brick, the Berlin Wall of marijuana prohibition is crumbling. Pat Robertson hit that wall with a big sledgehammer today. We are happy that he has joined the growing and diverse group of individuals backing Amendment 64."