Oh, well: televangelist Pat Robertson has apparently changed his mind on the subject of legal marijuana.
Just two years after Robertson said that he thinks the U.S. should “treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol,” he and his 700 Club network went hard against Colorado’s legalization of the drug this week.
“The little kids are getting high,” Robertson said of the children of Colorado on his Wednesday show. He went on: “Do you want your little 8th grader to be stoned when he goes to school? Well, welcome to Colorado, where pot is legal.”
You can watch the clip, via Right Wing Watch (which regularly records Robertson’s daily program), below:
Robertson now claims that he never supported the legalization of marijuana, only its decriminalization. However, in his 2012 interview with the New York Times, Robertson said that he “absolutely” supported the two ballot measures – Colorado’s Amendment 64 and Washington Initiative 502 – that legalized the substances in those states.
Robertson criticized the criminalization of marijuana as early as 2010, leading to mixed reactions among his viewers and Vice President Biden:
Now, the evangelical preacher believes that the Colorado law encourages “the full-scale spread of this stuff, and it is not good for people’s health, it is destroying their minds and it is destroying their lungs and the addiction is pretty heavy.”
The 700 Club also published an article on Wednesday focusing on a group of Colorado residents who want to get a measure on the ballot to repeal the law. Robertson hasn’t completely abandoned H.M.S. Marijuana Reform, however. He reiterated his longstanding position on Wednesday that current law imposes penalties for possession that are too strict.
“I have been one that has been very much against the incredible incarceration rate in the United States,” he said, adding, “What are we doing? We’re locking up people for the possession of marijuana. What I have wanted, and I think it’s the right cause, is the decriminalization of marijuana. But apparently the next step is the legalization of it, which is a totally different matter.”