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Writ of Referendum for cannabis to be deferred

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Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2022. 1:11 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Today, August 4, was the final day for Governor-General Dame Froyla Tzalam to issue a writ of a referendum on the potential legalization of cannabis pursuant to a petition from the churches delivered in May and certified about a month later.

A statement from the Cabinet has announced that church leaders, on behalf of the petitioners and the Government, have formally requested that the Governor-General defer the issuing of the writ “until a date to be determined.”

The Government and churches have committed to issuing a joint statement on the matter.

The decision follows a meeting between the sides on July 19 and a follow-up letter from the churches on July 25 to Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde.

The banking community has effectively put a pause to the idea on the basis of legitimacy of money collected from licensing for the sale and use of marijuana in Belize as well as correspondent relationships in the United States. The churches also object on moral and spiritual grounds as well as claiming that the Government has not fully planned and thought out the transition.

The Government has previously stated that the legislation will not in any case come into effect until the banking issue can be settled, and has committed to writing in a clause stating that it coming into effect is dependent on the result of a national referendum

 

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