Magistrate charged him $750 for the 21.5 grams of weed
BELIZE CITY, Tues. May 16, 2017–Despite the fact that marijuana is still an illegal substance in Belize, some magistrates use their discretion to prevent young, first-time offenders from the stigma of acquiring a criminal record when they “caution and dismiss” cases of small “possession of cannabis,” as marijuana is referred to in the Laws of Belize.
Today, Magistrate Carlon Mendoza imposed a hefty fine on a 60-year-old man who had given his 11-year-old step-grandson 21 grams of cannabis to hold when police arrived at their residence on Neal Pen Road, to conduct a search.
Magistrate Mendoza accepted a guilty plea from Cecil Errol Flowers, who was charged along with his common-law wife, Cherry Mae Wallace, 58, for possession of a controlled drug, 21.5 grams of cannabis, and fined him $750, plus $5 cost of court.
Flowers was ordered to pay the fine on or before August 16, 2017; if he defaults, he will have to spend 6 months in prison.
Flowers told the court that he is originally from a small village, where cannabis “is not a problem to us.”
“Mr. Flowers, I could have sent you to prison,” Magistrate Mendoza told Flowers.
The magistrate added, “If the law says no, then it is no. Weed is not the problem; it’s just that it is illegal and people have to obey the law.”
Magistrate Mendoza then told Flowers that he should not have allowed the child to come in contact with the drug. “That is a bad example. How you going to involve a child with something like that?” he asked Flowers.
Court documents reveal that around 7:30 a.m. today, Tuesday, police launched a special operation, involving their canine unit, at 188A Neal Pen Road, the residence of Flowers and Wallace.
Police said that the 11-year-old student was acting suspiciously and when they searched him, he had a transparent plastic bag containing a green leafy substance, suspected to be marijuana.
When police found the marijuana on the 11-year-old, Wallace told them, “Da fu me. Da me, give ah fu hold.”
In court, however, Wallace pleaded not guilty to the possession charge and since Flowers had already accepted responsibility for the cannabis, the case against her was dismissed.