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Constitutional challenge in the making to decriminalize marijuana?

HighlightsConstitutional challenge in the making to decriminalize marijuana?

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Sept. 12, 2016–Today, a man who was charged with drug trafficking after police busted him with 119.2 grams of cannabis was allowed to plead down to the lesser charge of possession.

Lusby Martinez, 32, was busted by the police’s Mobile Interdiction Team (MIT) on Friday, September 9, in the George Street area. The 119.2 grams of cannabis was found inside his right back pocket.

Martinez appeared before Chief Magistrate Smith along with his attorney, Dickie Bradley, this morning and was fined $200.

Smith ordered him to pay the fine by September 22; if he does not pay, he will have to spend two months in prison.

Bradley told Amandala this morning, however, that he has had more than one meeting with the Rastafarians in the Harmonyville community and other interested, practicing Rastafarians, who are interested in mounting a constitutional challenge to the present laws on cannabis.

Bradley said that very shortly, court papers will be filed at the Supreme Court Registry to mount the challenge to the laws.

The government had set up a committee to consider the decriminalization of a small quantity of cannabis, but the work and the recommendation of that committee have apparently gone stagnant, and now, the constitutional challenge appears to be more likely to materialize before the government decriminalizes the 10 grams that it had promised to decriminalize.

In the United States, many states have been legalizing medical marijuana, but some states have outrightly legalized marijuana. Mexico, Canada and Jamaica are countries that have recently done this.

In November, voters in 10 additional US states will decide on the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use. This year, 15 states have also considered laws that would decriminalize marijuana by discontinuing the practice of jailing people for possessing small amounts of the drug.

US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has proposed to remove marijuana from the list of schedule 1 drugs — which are drugs that the US Drug Enforcement Administration deems to have “no currently accepted medical use.”

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