You don't have to like the messenger, but facts are facts: Decreasing sentences for non-violent offenders would produce a more efficient justice system.
Pat Robertson's position on the wisdom of decriminalizing marijuana possession -- evidently he is in favor of it -- is no longer news. My former colleague Chris Good was writing about the television evangelist's surprising views on pot back in December 2010. But what does now seem new to Robertson's on-air repertoire is his pitch for legalizing marijuana as part of a bigger pitch for serious and substantial reforms to the nation's criminal justice systems.
Last Thursday, on his 700 Club show, Robertson devoted nearly nine minutes of the broadcast to commentary and a (really well produced) piece on the topic. Sure, there is still some of the familiar delusional thinking that has rightfully earned Robertson scorn over the years. For example, he now blames "liberals," who he says have "a punitive spirit," for sticking too many "criminal sanctions" on state and federal laws. Yikes!
But there is also deep truth in his emphasis on the fact that America, the land of the free, has more people locked away in its prisons and jails than any other country in the world. Robertson thinks that this is crazy, and unworthy of us as a nation, and he is exactly right. He's also right in identifying the notion that decriminalizing pot possession is one of the easiest ways to break the cycle of incarceration that ruins people -- and government budgets.