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NGO Network interested in discussing hemp, marijuana

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Posted: Friday, January 29, 2021. 9:35 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Belize Network of Non-Governmental Organizations (BNN) is preparing to draft its position on setting up a formal marijuana/hemp industry, according to Senator for NGOs Osmany Salas.

But he points out that there is much to do to ensure its success.

Salas told BBN after Thursday’s meeting of the Senate that while they supported the decriminalization of marijuana when it was brought up a few years ago, they shared the concerns raised by several organizations, including catering to those with mental health issues.

The then-Barrow administration had promised a nationwide campaign enlightening Belizeans on the scope of the decriminalization of 10 grams of marijuana and less, and promised more counseling especially for marijuana-using minors and the scrubbing of criminal records for petty drug convictions.

The now-ruling People’s United Party has advanced the discussion to potential legalization and cultivation for business and export purposes in the area of hemp.

On this Salas said, “A concern there is to ensure that this is not only for the big man, but that small farmers also have a stake in that. So, there is a lot of work to do on that yet and at some point soon the BNN will have a position on that.”

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