UPDATE: A commenter points out what does indeed seem to be an explicit endorsement from Pat Robertson’s New York Times interview last spring, missed by both our first read of the story and the Grand Junction Sentinel recapping it last week:
Mr. Robertson’s remarks were hailed by pro-legalization groups, who called them a potentially important endorsement in their efforts to roll back marijuana penalties and prohibitions, which residents of Colorado and Washington will vote on this fall…
For his part, Mr. Robertson said that he “absolutely” supported the ballot measures, [Pols emphasis] though he would not campaign for them. “I’m not a crusader,” he said.
With this in mind, it’s even harder to understand what the problem is here–but we don’t really think it’s the Amendment 64 campaign’s problem.
A story we meant to get to Friday but couldn’t for obvious reasons, Grand Junction Sentinel:
[Televangelist Pat] Robertson spokesman Chris Roslan said that was because the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and one-time presidential contender never endorsed Amendment 64 as its backer claimed.
He said Robertson has no idea what the initiative would do.
“Dr. Robertson has not in fact read the Colorado initiative and simply does not have an opinion on it,” Roslan said in an email. “Earlier today, I alerted the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol to this fact. They just emailed me saying they would remove the billboard.”
Mason Tvert, head of that campaign, said he complied immediately.
Still, Tvert said the ad accomplished its goal, which was to let Western Slope voters know that Robertson supports the idea of legalizing marijuana…
The pro-Amendment 64 “Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol” based its claim that Pat Robertson “would vote yes” (note the choice of words, not explicitly claiming an endorsement) on Amendment 64 on a New York Times article from March, quoting Robertson thusly:
“I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol,” Mr. Robertson said [Pols emphasis] in an interview on Wednesday. “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.”
We’re guessing there are far more people in Grand Junction who know of Pat Robertson than have ever heard he supports treating marijuana “like alcohol.” We suppose the pro-64 campaign is right to take the billboard down at his request, but is the content of the billboard wrong?
Or does Robertson lack courage to match his convictions?