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National Consultation on Marijuana

On October 25, the Misuse of Drugs Act which decriminalizes ten grams or less of marijuana was passed by the Senate.  The bill had a lot of opposition to it, nevertheless, it was passed into law.Today, a National Consultation facilitated by the Regional Commission on Marijuana was held at the Best Western Plus, Belize Biltmore Plaza, where the Commission heard from various sectors of society by way of focus groups on the matter. This was done under CARICOM’s Regional Commission on Marijuana in collaboration with the Attorney General’s Ministry. Love News spoke with the Attorney General, Michael Peyrefitte.

Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte

“The CARICOM Commission on Marijuana what their main focus is is to focus on the concept of whether or not we should declassify and label it not as a dangerous drug and the whole idea is to see if whether we as a region can successfully make attempts to ensure that not only it becomes legal if that is what the people want or whether or not it can be classified as dangerous our more dangerous than the drugs that are perfectly legal. So what their job is – is to do a tour of the Caribbean to get the input from all types of societies and focus groups; young people, the churches, the NGOs the wider community to see what their opinions are on marijuana in general. Hopefully, we can get some frank opinions as to the effects it has on you and stuff like that for the commission to make a determination as to what they should recommend to the CARICOM heads of government.”

Peyrefitte added that after today’s session the Commission will compile a report and submit its findings to CARICOM’s Regional Commission on Marijuana.

Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte

“CARICOM heads want to hear what different territories are saying about marijuana and its possible full legalization so they are not going to not listen to a commission that they themselves have commissioned so I am sure that our Prime Minister and all the other prime ministers in the CARICOM will look at the report very seriously and then individual states can then choose the adopt or not adopt whatever is the report of the commission. I’m sure the commission will make recommendations not just reflect what the people are saying but make recommendations based on those reflections and then each CARICOM state will then have a choice to either follow fully what the commission says or take parts of it that work for each individual territory.”

Peyrefitte said that today’s consultation will allow for the Government of Belize to listen to the views of the people as well as the advice of the Commission, which will assist the government in making improvements to the law to ensure that they are addressing the needs of the nation.