A day after delighting the reform movement and presumably causing drug warriors nationwide to spit coffee on their keyboards, the Christian Broadcasting Network would like to clarify Pat Robertson's remarks. I received this email today.
CLARIFICATION OF MARIJUANA COMMENTS:
Dr. Robertson did not call for the decriminalization of marijuana. He was advocating that our government revisit the severity of the existing laws because mandatory drug sentences do harm to many young people who go to prison and come out as hardened criminals. He was also pointing out that these mandatory sentences needlessly cost our government millions of dollars when there are better approaches available. Dr. Robertson's comments followed a CBN News story about a group of conservatives who have proven that faith-based rehabilitation for criminals has resulted in lower repeat offenders and saved the government millions of dollars. Dr. Robertson unequivocally stated that he is against the use of illegal drugs.
Spokesman for CBN
We're getting into semantics here, I guess, but if this isn't a call for decriminalization, it's pretty much the functional equivalent:
We’ve got to take a look at what we’re considering crimes, and that’s one of them. I mean, I’m not exactly for the use of drugs, don’t get me wrong, but I just believe criminalizing marijuana, criminalizing the possession of just a few ounces of pot, and that kind of thing, I mean it’s costing us a fortune, and it’s ruining young people.
I suppose it's ok to make the case for reform and still maintain discomfort with the typical vocabulary of the legalization movement. I'm cool with that, and I apologize for my choice of words yesterday. But what I got out of it was an exciting email from CBN basically reiterating the fact that the drug war hurts young people, so I've got nothing but good things to say about the whole situation.