Features — 13 June 2018
Two steps to make before we legalize it

There’s not a person who does not appreciate the worth of neighbors who respect their values. It being impossible to find someone who is a perfect fit with everything we are, we must have tolerance in this world. But one can only bend so far. Land in a neighborhood where the folk are everything you are not, and you have to change them, or find another area to live.

No beating around the bush, there are people who can’t stand the smell of weed. Heck, there are people who can’t stand to be around people who are smoking cigarettes! Second smoke is no issue for people like me, but there are those who get very angry when a cigarette smoker is in their neighborhood.

Second-hand cigarette smoke became a major matter after scientists declared that it is as bad for human health as first hand smoke. Of course, the people who wholesale believe that are those who hate the smell of cigarettes. It is just incredible to see how ugly some people behave when a cigarette smoker lights up the Independence around them.

One trouble with weed is that the scent is stronger than that of cigarette. And the enemies of weed are at least as antagonistic as the anti-cigarette smoke folk. People who are anti-weed fear that second-hand smoke can make them high, or cause them to develop cancer. Clearly, this is no small issue.

It is pretty faysi to ask an anti-weed neighbor to be tolerant. Hmm, I can see that smoking weed might very well be for country people, and caye people, only. We need some serious, respectful discussions about the matter. Weed absolutely should not be illegal for adults, but there must be fair laws so we don’t end up hating each other.

We also need to tweak our extradition law. We must appreciate that one reason why the USA insists that we keep marijuana illegal, is because if we legalize it, folk will become more brazen about shipping it to their country. Of recent there has been a move in the USA to relax the laws on marijuana. If they continue on this tack we can see Belize legalizing it soon. But America could very easily turn around and bring the hammer on marijuana again. That is a very erratic country over there.

Many Belizeans still cannot comprehend the American decision to put the clamps on rum. They had a very bitter experience and had to fix their law. But the pain of their weed law has not affected the preferred citizens in their country so much. Those who have felt the most pain, by far, are immigrants to America, and people in Mexico and the other Americas south of the Rio Grande.

America has a right to defend its borders, and we have a duty to do our best to respect our neighbor. It is my feeling that our extradition law is too coddling. If we didn’t coddle so much, the US wouldn’t have to bring such pressure on us to maintain the bogus marijuana law.

We should tweak our extradition law, as it relates to drugs, to make it easier for the US to get their prey. Of course, such a law cannot be retroactive. It would have to be a new beginning. Belizean adults have a right to smoke weed. America interferes with this right, and one of the reasons for their doing so is because they fear that relaxed laws in Belize would encourage trafficking to their country. Of course we don’t want to give them any Belizeans. But the price for not doing so is too high.

Belize should also make some laws with major teeth to insulate children and youth, and with respect for the air space in city and town spaces. Then Belize should legalize it.

They are too ambitious, Belizean Stanislaus

When they [Israel] became independent in 1947, they were surrounded by people whose armies wanted to throw them into the sea. Defying overwhelming odds, they, every man and woman, defended their right to be free. Although my sympathy usually goes out to the underdogs, reason raises doubt as to who is the real one. Aren’t the Jews vastly outnumbered? (Belizean Stanislaus)

I ask this question: If the British had handed them (the Jews) the Sibun to the Sarstoon, would we have wanted to throw them (the Jews) into the sea?

The Jews are an interesting people. We know a lot about them because they are the authors of the Bible. It is in the Old Testament that we find out the real deal about the Jews,that they are God’s chosen people. We also find out about their clannishness, their insistence on being a pure tribe, and oh, that they love war.

Their real story begins with a man named Jacob. Our first meeting with Jacob is quite inauspicious. The Good Book says that Esau is Jacob’s twin brother, older by some minutes. But their mother loves Jacob more, much more than she loves Esau.

Esau brings shame and pain on himself when he sells his birthright (the rights of the firstborn son) to Jacob for a pot of stew. According to the story, Esau comes in from a fruitless hunt, hungry and thirsty, and agrees to trade his birthright because he is in a bad way with hunger. There are stories that show Esau to be a really bad boy, and these somewhat soften Jacob’s guilt for driving such a hard bargain.

There is also a story to take away the guilt from Jacob and his mother for deceiving the boys’ father, Isaac, into giving Jacob his blessings. The mother of the boys, Rebecca, had observed that Jacob would make a better leader, hence the deception of the feeble Isaac. So, Jacob ends up with his father’s wealth, and the rights to lead his father’s family. Esau and his family will forever harbor grievance.

As time goes on there is a lot of intermarriage, though Jacob’s tribe is very choosy about who can be let into their tribe. Children are born, and as a consequence there is need for more land. To get more land, the Jews go to war. Almost from beginning to end, the Old Testament is full of carnage and war spoils.It is war, war, war. Indeed, the only book of war to rival the Jews’ book of war is the Book of Americans.

The Jews lost their share of wars. When the Jews won, their enemies had to find new homes. When the Jews lost, they had to find new homes. In time the Jewish population dispersed to other countries in Arabia, and to Spain, and Russia and Germany in Europe. We know they were in Russia because we saw the movie, Fiddler on the Roof. In that movie, we learned that the Jews did not mingle with the other tribes in Russia.

Of course, we know they were in Germany because of the Nazis and World War II. The Germans, under Adolf Hitler, set up a program to exterminate the Jews. The Jews were hated because they were very skillful at amassing wealth, and they had it while other tribes weren’t doing so well.

The Jews have a philosophy of “one for all and all for one”, a la The Three Musketeers, and they practice usury. The business of usury was reviled in the past, but the Jews were one tribe that was comfortable with it. These stories about Esau and Jacob, when we look at the deception, and the opportunism, we get an understanding of why they didn’t see usury as evil business.

There is something in the human soul that makes those who live away from home, dream of returning to the place of their birth before they die. And the Jews have a special affinity for the land of Israel because their story says that God gave it to them.

It is very fortunate for the Jews that when World War II ends, the British are in control of Palestine. The British had been in control of the area since the 1920’s, and the Jews had steadily been returning “home”.  The British had come under attack from both the Arabs and the Jews, and they were quite happy when the United Nations partitioned Palestine after WWII, and gave the Jews their own country.

Naturally, the people who were displaced wanted to throw the Jews into the sea. With the help of the UN, and the US, the Jews were able to defend turf. Then the Jews got greedy. They started to muscle away “more” turf from their neighbors. This made the rest of the world disappointed in the Jews. The UN is unhappy with them. The British, who had control of Palestine when it was partitioned, are not happy with them. Jimmy Carter is unhappy too. The Jews want too much.

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Deshawn Swasey

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