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Marijuana decriminalization laws ready for Parliament

Belize moves for the first time to remove criminal sanctions for possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana. It is not the same as ‘legalization,’ as fines would be levied for offenders, as is the case with traffic offenders.

BELIZE CITY, Fri. Aug. 11, 2017–Doug Singh, one of the leading members of the committee which had been tasked several years ago to come up with recommendations for the decriminalization of up to 10 grams of marijuana, told Amandala today that the enabling legislation—an amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act—is due to be tabled in the House of Representatives when it meets in special session on Friday, August 18.

This was confirmed to our newspaper by Solicitor General Nigel Hawke.

According to Singh, Cabinet had finalized adjustments to the legislation and it completed its process when it met earlier this week.

The decriminalization proposals were unveiled back in 2015 and the legal drafting ensued. Belize began to seriously look at changing its laws to decriminalize the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana—about a handful of what is locally known as ‘ganja’—back in 2012; however, it does not mean that marijuana use and trade is legal in Belize. That process would be called legalization, for which there has been an ongoing lobby in certain circles in Belize but which has so far been unsuccessful.

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