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‘We are not running from a referendum,’ says Prime Minister

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Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2022. 11:58 am CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Prime Minister John Briceno says that if the churches have amassed the number of necessary signatures, the Government of Belize will stand by its commitment to hold a referendum on the Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Control and Licensing Bill.

Briceno said on Wednesday, that the process is now in the hands of the Elections and Boundaries Commission and that the Chief Elections Officer has requested the aid of six senior public officers to help verify the signatures on the petition.

“They have 60 days and at the end of that 60 days if they meet the threshold then we will have a referendum. We are not running away from that,” Briceno said.

Briceno said that if it is the will of the people to have a referendum, GOB will respect it.

The churches have been consistent in their position against marijuana, being one of the major opponents of decriminalization and stepping up their opposition against legalization and the establishment of a marijuana industry in Belize.

On May 3, the churches handed over 20,000 signatures to the Governor General H.E. Froyla Tzalam, triggering the process potentially leading up to a referendum.

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