Mark this day as a big step toward a major cultural shift. From the Associated Press:
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 Virginia Beach-based Christian Broadcasting Network he founded said the war on drugs is costing taxpayers billions of dollars. He said people should not be sent to prison for marijuana possession. …
“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. “The whole thing is crazy. We’ve said, ‘Well, we’re conservatives, we’re tough on crime.’ That’s baloney.” …
“I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol,” Robertson told the newspaper. “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?”
Robertson added. “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.” He has made similar comments in the past, but his reiterating this stance might make his audience pay attention.
His sentiment about the failure of the war on drugs, at least, has been a growing one in conservative ranks. In 2005, Gallup reported that just 21 percent of Republicans, 22 percent of conservatives and 29 percent of Southerners favored general marijuana legalization. By last year, those numbers had increased to 35 percent, 34 percent and 44 percent, respectively. Among all Americans, support for legalization rose to 50 percent last year from 36 percent just six years earlier.
Those are pretty amazing rates of change for a social issue.
As many of you know, I have a 3-year-old son and a 1-month-old son. I am starting to believe that, by the time the oldest is old enough to think about trying marijuana — more than 10 years from now, but less than 15 — it will be legal for adults in this state and many others.
– By Kyle Wingfield