VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) -- Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says marijuana should be treated like alcohol because the government's war on drugs has failed.

The outspoken evangelical Christian says he has never smoked marijuana, and he is not encouraging it. But he says the war on drugs is costing taxpayers billions of dollars and people should not be sent to prison for marijuana possession.

Robertson appeared to support legalizing pot in a New York Times story that was published Thursday. His spokesman, however, says Robertson supports decriminalizing marijuana, not legalization.

The spokesman says Robertson was not available for an interview with AP.

Robertson in 2010 called for ending mandatory prison sentences for marijuana possession convictions.

Robertson hosts "The 700 Club" on the Christian Broadcasting Network.

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