Former Republican presidential candidate and founder of the Christian Broadcast Network, Pat Robertson comments yesterday have caused quite a stir. During his CBN TV news show, the 700 Club, the subject of the marijuana legalization ballot measure being qualified in Colorado for a vote November, Robertson shocked many people stating ″I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol.″ Pat Robertson went on to say that ″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 continued saying that the war on drugs was ″completely out of control″ and shocked how many young people wind up in prison, overcrowded by whose only crime is possession of small amounts of marijuana. Robertson said ″I believe in working with the hearts of people, and not locking them up.″

pat robertson comments

Both Colorado and the State of Washington will vote this November on the complete legalization of marijuana. Bot states currently allow its use for medical purposes with a doctors prescription and a special ID card obtained from the state government. Robertson says that while he is ″absolutely″ in support of marijuana legalization now, ″I′m not a crusader″ and will not be publicly campaigning for the ballot measures to be passed.

So do not expect to see Pat Robertson protesting, marching in front of a court house with flowers in his hair just yet. But still, this is, as ′they′ say, a ′game changer.′ For somebody like Robertson to make that 180-degree shift in thinking is very momentous. Alcohol prohibitionists struggled for decades to outlaw the sale of beer, wine and liquor. When they finally got past the Beer Lobby, of mostly German-born entrepreneurs, during World War One, Congress passed the 18th Amendment which was ratified by the states in about 13 months. This was considered a record in speed, mainly due to the ground organization of the Prohibitionists.

As we all know, Prohibition of alcohol turned into an utter failure, if not an outright disaster. The immediate loss of some 800,000 jobs, at a time when millions of men were being drummed out of the service after WWI, led to a worst economic depression in the history of the nation in 1920. While America was lucky to elect wise Republicans to the White House who got the country working again quickly, the long term effect of Prohibition led to the rise of organized crime. Between the violence between rival crime bosses and the widespread corruption of police, judges and elected officials, the 18th Amendment lost its support with the American people. The 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th, was passed Congress and ratified by the states in even less time, barely 10 months, without a massive Temperance-like organization on the ground supporting it.

For decades now, groups like NORML have been pushing for the medical use of marijuana, as well as it being decriminalized. The big goal of complete legalization, while their main objective, has seemed very elusive. The ′War on Drugs′ has been going on since 1971, even earlier when Congress included cannabis on a list of poisons to be regulated in legislation passed in 1906. By the 1930s, marijuana was illegal to use in the United States. By the 1950s, federal laws laid out guidelines nationwide for mandatory sentencing of first-time, simple possession marijuana arrests of at least 2 years and a $20,000 fine.

So it has been a long road and a bitter struggle for marijuana legalization. Pat Robertson comments about his change of heart during ′The 700 Club′ on his Christian Broadcast Network is big news. Robertson, who says he never used marijuana, actually first began changing his views on the legalization of marijuana in 2010. That he now supports upcoming ballot measures which would treat marijuana like beverage alcohol could lead to many others coming around. Is it possible that we may see an end to a failed War on Drugs, where young people wind up tainted for life as criminals for just simple possession of small amounts for recreational use? Where there is smoke, there′s fire. Even if its from a water bong!