US & Canada

Religious TV host Pat Robertson wants pot legalised

Pat Robertson leaves funeral for Jerry Faldwell 22 May 2007
Image caption Pat Robertson has spoken about marijuana legalisation on his show, The 700 Club

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson has expressed support for the legalisation of marijuana in the US, citing failure in the nation's war on drugs.

In an interviewwith the New York Times, Mr Robertson said the US should "treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol".

He says he has never smoked marijuana, but objects to the cost of imprisoning people for possession of the drug.

Measures to repeal marijuana laws are on the ballot in two states this year.

The host of the 700 Club, the flagship TV programme of the Christian Broadcasting Network, told the Times he supported the ballot measures in Colorado and Washington state, but would not campaign for either.

Mr Robertson has been criticised in the past for comments made on his show, including saying the Haiti earthquakewas caused by Haitians' "pact with the devil".

Pro-marijuana groups are hoping his comments will increase support for legalisation among conservative voters.