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Police Sensitizing the Public to Marijuana Bill

During a press briefing yesterday, the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie confirmed that the escalation of crime in Southside Belize City is a result of gangs feuding over territory and drugs, one of which is marijuana.  With the passage of the amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act, which decriminalizes up to ten grams of the drugs, the Commissioner was asked how his department plans to deal with the development.

Commissioner Allen Whylie

“That matter is a done matter. It is the law, I can recall that there was process in place where a committee was formed, opinions were solicited and recommendations were solicited. I can tell you that at Kolbe a lot of the people are there for small quantities of marijuana. I don’t think that there is the need for us to continue for us to perpetuate that matter. The government has seen in its wisdom to pass this law and we will enforce the law that is what we are supposed to do. We have had our legal advisor senior Superintendent Mark Jones; he has a schedule of visits and has been visiting. He has already visited San Pedro, he has already visited the western districts and I know he has the Northern and I believe Southern districts to visit. He has been holding meetings with the police officers in terms of explaining the changes to the misuse of drugs. He has also used that opportunity where the form allows to also meet with members of the public and explain to the people of San Pedro to explain how the act would be enforced and the changes to the act .So we are doing our public sensitization and education within the department. I do think that there is a need for a more robust public education. I think many people have the misconception that because of this law now they will be able to walk about with 10 grams of weed, or there will be able to smoke the weed on the streets and police won’t be able to enforce and arrest them. That’s not the purpose of the law. The purpose of the law recognized the right for persons to do certain activities in the confines of their home and that is what the law sought to do.”