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Feb 27, 2015

Marijuana Committee Releases Findings

Earlier this week, small quantities of marijuana were decriminalized in Jamaica where the use of marijuana is a cultural issue. It took that country fourteen years for its parliament to reach a decision. In Belize, an effort started years ago, but it soon faded into the background.  After two and a half years of research and study on the issue of the decriminalization of the possession of marijuana, today the committee released a report on their findings, which are now before Cabinet. Headed by Businessman Doug Singh, the committee consulted with the public and other sectors. So what are the recommendations of the committee? Today at Spoonaz Café on North Front Street, Singh flanked by several committee members made the presentation to the media.


Rhea Rogers

Rhea Rogers, Member, Decriminalization of Marijuana Committee

“The Committee makes the following recommendations: that it not be a criminal offense for anyone to be found in possession of up to ten grams of marijuana and such individuals should be subject to administrative penalties as referred to in section two below. The committee therefore proposes a change to the misuse of drugs act, chapter one hundred and three revised edition 200, with the removal of the word cannabis from section twelve of the act, subject to section fifty-one. That in the decriminalization of the possession of up to ten grams of marijuana for private, personal use, there should be no criminal record for possession of up to ten grams of marijuana, no incarceration for possession of up to ten grams of marijuana, tickets issued with fines for possession of up to ten grams of marijuana; administrative penalties for up to ten grams of marijuana should be mandatory and the preventive drug education and any or all of the following depends. Fines of up to fifteen dollars per gram for anyone found in possession with two-thirds of the fine going to the courts and one-third of the fine going to the National Drug Abuse Control Council to fund drug education. to increase penalty for increase offenders and/or have longer drug education programs for repeat offenders. To establish prevention education, mandatory drug education for minors and their parents or guardians, juvenile offenders of those found with up to ten grams of marijuana. Community service is a possible option for repeat offenders and rehabilitation for inpatient or treatment for outpatient as recommended by the National Drug Abuse Control Council. Restriction of the possession and use in respect to minors and around schools, churches, public spaces, detention centers and rehabilitation centers. Anyone in default of the satisfaction of the administrative penalties is subject to contempt proceedings.”

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