By BBN Staff: The Belize Catholic Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (BCAPSS) today issued a statement strongly denouncing the call for the legalization of marijuana made by the Opposition Leader, John Briceno.
BCAPSS says that in a country where 50% of our children are under the age of 19, this message can be seen as a ‘lack of concern’ for the health and cognitive development of our children, and it implies that the solution to our economic challenges is legalizing a drug that creates much harm to the developing mind.
BCAPSS cited a study done at Duke University which showed that people who started smoking marijuana heavily in their teens had developed an ongoing marijuana use disorder, and had lost an average of 8 IQ points between the ages of 13 and 38.
The lost mental abilities did not fully return in those who quit marijuana usage altogether as adults, signaling a permanent loss of brain functions.
“We also note the research findings that when people begin using marijuana as teenagers, the drug considerably impairs thinking, motivation, memory and learning functions. While the focus of Hon. Briceno’s message focuses on the commercial and economic returns from the illegal drug, the myriad undesirable social outcomes, and impact on our small society would be most devastating and would disrupt the stability and spiritual order of our jewel,” the BCAPSS reiterated.
According to the association, all studies indicate that the societal issues brought forth through legalization produces a negative impact in every facet of society.
The principals call on the Opposition, People’s United Party to thoroughly investigate the implications of this decision and to seek productive pathways by which to pursue an effective national development strategy based on core values, healthy existence, and sound living.