Decriminalization of Marijuana is Music for Some Persons

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Updated: October 17, 2017

This Friday, Parliament will be meeting, and it is expected that the amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act will be debated and subsequently come into effect by the end of this month. The amendments relate to the decriminalization of up to 10 grams of marijuana.  This means that Belizeans will be able to access up to 10 grams of weed without being penalized. That is, no criminal charges will be laid against anyone for such small quantities. The debate is split down the middle, with some persons for the decriminalization and others against. Will the decriminalization reduce crime significantly, and thereby reduce the strain on our legal system? Or would it be a passage for persons to thereafter access more high level drugs? Love News took to the streets to find out what people had to say.  We found out that decriminalizing up to 10 grams of weed is music to some people’s ears.

 

Do you think decriminalizing marijuana is a good thing or is it a bad thing what are your thoughts?

Member of the Public

“I think it’s a good thing.”

Member of the Public

“Well I think it is a good thing instead assuming that it be used for medicinal use only but in a bad way it might be abusive as well.”

Member of the Public

“I actually think it’s a good thing because I know a lot of people who actually have Glaucoma, headaches and a lot of mental things that marijuana can actually help with and its not everybody that uses is a bad person like they put it. I know a lot of people that use marijuana.”

Reporter

You said your grandmother uses marijuana?

Member of the Public

“Yeah my grandmother drinks it, she doesn’t smoke it. She drinks it. That does well for her because she is moving around and she’s over 80. After she drinks that she actually cuts the yard with machete.”

Reporter

“Do you think the decriminalization will reduce crime significantly?”

Member of the Public

“It might be able to reduce crime significantly because a lot of time the encounter that the police has with our youths is under the disguise of looking for marijuana and the police don’t have enough reasons to search our youths now for marijuana there might be a decrease.”

Reporter

“How about the argument to where these youths will have access to these drugs and they more than likely could become drug addicts in the future?”

Member of the Public

“No, but what I’m saying right now, alcohol is legal, cigarettes are legal and still a lot of our youths don’t use either of them so not because you are making marijuana a little more accessible to them they are going to use more because as it is any youth in Belize can get marijuana right now even though it’s illegal any youth in Belize has access to marijuana right now as it is.”

Many were reluctant to give their opinion on camera and from among the persons interviewed, only one was against decriminalizing marijuana.

 

Reporter

“Are you for decriminalizing marijuana or are you against it?”

Member of the Public

“No marijuana I cannot agree with it.”

 

Love News also spoke with Shamir Villanueva, Operations Manager of PROTEL, who shared how the decriminalization of up to 10 grams of marijuana may affect his company.

Shamir Villanueva, Operations Manager of PROTEL

“We would likely treat it the same way that we treat alcohol. Of course everybody takes a drink here and there as long as you are not under the influence at work or the substance isn’t brought into the job place then you are free to use it how you wish. So I guess in the sense we would treat that the same way as long as you are not here under the influence or you do not bring the substance into the workplace you are free to use it if that is what the law dictates.”

With the decriminalization of marijuana, persons who have a criminal record due to using marijuana will be able to get their conviction expunged. It is noteworthy to mention that there are many things that the two major political parties disagree on, however, they both agree that marijuana should be decriminalized.