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National Evangelical Association of Belize disagrees with GOB intent and steps in decriminalizing marijuana

Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017. 4:09 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff:  The National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) and it’s 250+ represented churches expresses its disagreement with intent and steps of the Government to decriminalize marijuana, according to a press release issued by NEAB today.

NEAB says that they are convinced that the move is an incremental step towards legalization.

“In May 2016 we presented to the Prime Minister scientific studies and reports from reputable bodies such as Harvard Medical School, The Lancet Journal, and University of Australia, all showing the dangers of marijuana use, brain damage to younger users, and many many societal and personal dangers of marijuana use. Our presentation was coupled with over 225 signatures of national pastors and leaders, asking Government to NOT go this direction.  It seems our feedback supported with scientific reports was ignored,” the NEAB asserts in their statement.

According to NEAB, even former Attorney General Retreage spoke against decriminalizing marijuana calling it premature and that infrastructure to support the move was non-existent.

“Ample supporting evidence and voices spoke against this move, with particular concern for the children.”

The press release goes on to say that former Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel stated emphatically to NEAB in private and public meetings that, “the Church is the conscience of the nation.”

“ The Conscience is speaking – this is a wrong move in a wrong direction that will bring wrong results. There are numerous creative ways to not “destroy someone’s future from one stick of weed” by alternative tracks of rehabilitation leading to the expunging of criminal records. But the reduction of consequences for a behaviour will only increase that particular behaviour.”

The release ends by saying, “We pray that our Leaders listen to the voice of sound reason on this issue, and we  continue to stand resolute for what we know is right in God’s eyes, and implore our Government to do the same, the end result being a BLESSED BELIZE.”

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