Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
On a recent 700 Club show, televangelist and standard bearer for the Christian right, Pat Robertson, mused about the folly of criminalizing pot use and mandatory sentencing. (No, this is not a joke.)
Here is what Robertson has to say about tough-on-crime laws that turn youth into hardened criminals– because they were caught taking “a couple of puffs of marijuana.”
“It got to be a big deal in campaigns: ‘He’s tough on crime,’ and ‘lock ’em up!'” the Christian Coalition founder said. “That’s the way these guys ran and, uh, they got elected. But, that wasn’t the answer.”
His co-host added that the success of religious-run dormitories for drug and alcohol cessation therapy present an “opportunity” for faith-based communities to lead the way on drug law reforms.
“We’re locking up people that have taken a couple puffs of marijuana and next thing you know they’ve got 10 years with mandatory sentences,” Robertson continued. “These judges just say, they throw up their hands and say nothing we can do with these mandatory sentences. We’ve got to take a look at what we’re considering crimes and that’s one of ’em.
“I’m … 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. Young people go into prisons, they go in as youths and come out as hardened criminals. That’s not a good thing.”
Robertson’s comments about mandatory sentencing for pot use ruining young lies is refreshingly Christian. What would Jesus do? Of course, Jesus would forgive. Merry Christmas, Mr. Robertson.