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First-time offender busted with weed is pardoned by the Magistrate’s Court

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Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2022. 10:20 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Twenty-one-year-old James Lozano had no criminal record when he was brought to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court today for drug possession, a fact that persuaded the court to grant him a pardon.

Police busted Lozano with 10.6 grams of marijuana in three separate transparent bags found in his pants during a stop and search this week. In court, Lozano immediately pleaded guilty and explained that he had bought the marijuana for his personal use and to share with two of his friends.

The court took into account his early plea and clean criminal record and decided to invoke Section 59-B of the Summary Jurisdiction Procedure Act, Chapter 99 of the Laws of Belize, which empowers the sitting Magistrate to accept a guilty plea without imposing a penalty.

With that, Lozano was free to go without a fine or custodial sentence. Notbaly he was only carrying 0.6 grams above the amount legally allowed for personal use.

The Government of Belize is currently working on doing away with the current laws regarding marijuana possession and use, and trying to establish a marijuana industry to increase revenue inflows. As such, many Belizeans are of the opinion that law enforcement should not continue to be as rigid with possession laws.

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