American televangelist Pat Robertson caused controversy this week when he said that he believed marijuana should be legal and that more prayer could have stopped the deadly tornadoes that rocked the Midwest recently.
Robertson, 81, made both comments during episodes of the "700 Club" talk show, which is owned by the Christian Broadcast Network, reported the Los Angeles Times.
UPI reported that Robertson blamed current marijuana laws on so-called "liberals," stating, "I just think it's shocking how many of these young people wind up in prison and they get turned into hard-core criminals because they had a possession of a very small amount of controlled substance. It's time we stop locking up people for possession of marijuana. We just can't do it anymore."
The Seatle Post Intelligencer quoted Roberston as saying that his stance has made him a “hero of the hippie culture.”
Pro legalization groups welcomed Robertson's remarks.
“I love him, man, I really do,” said Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of current and former law enforcement officials who oppose the drug war, to the New York Times. “He’s singing my song.”
Robertson also made controversial remarks this week on the recent toradoes that have ravaged the Midwest, killing dozens.
"God didn't send the tornadoes," Robertson was quoted by the Daily News as saying. "God set up a world in which certain currents interfere and interact with other currents. If enough people were praying, He would intervene. You could pray. Jesus stilled the storm. You could still storms.”
Robertson is no stranger to controversial remarks.
After the attacks of 9/11, he suggested that they were God’s punishment for US toleration of homosexuality.