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GOB to decriminalize marijuana?

Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017. 6:38 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Belizeans at home and abroad are eagerly awaiting Friday’s upcoming Special Sitting of the House of Representatives following several media reports that the Government of Belize will decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

Several local media houses have reportedly confirmed that Government will pass a Bill, which follows the recommendations given by the Decriminalization of Marijuana Committee, commissioned by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in 2012.

Several church related groups have already begun to voice their discontent with the decision over social media, pointing out that the decriminalization may actually make marijuana more accessible to Belizean youths.

A July 2016 report issued by the Inter-American Observatory on Drugs (OID) had pointed out that Belizean teenagers have among the highest rates of early smoking, drug use, and alcohol consumption in the region, which many fear would be compounded by the decision to decriminalize marijuana.

“Marijuana continues to be the most widely used illegal substance reported by students,” the OID said, “Students overall perception of harmfulness in relation to the use of substances did not change much…”

The National Drug Abuse Control Council had repeatedly voiced its position that Belize is unprepared for the decriminalization of marijuana, saying that the country lacks the necessary infrastructures, legislation, and rehabilitation mechanisms to be able to adequately handle the inevitable impact whether positive or negative decriminalization.

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