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Nov 1, 2018

P.U.P. Leader Sticks to his Position on Marijuana Legalization

On the matter of marijuana legalization, one of the points raised by Prime Minister Dean Barrow as to why government does not support it has to do with the reaction of the U.S.A. and drug cartels. Barrow explained that if marijuana is grown legally in Belize, cartels would use Belize as a base for their transshipment to the U.S., provoking “the Americans by legitimizing and providing a beachhead for further penetration into the U.S. of drugs originating in Belize.”  Here is how Briceño responded to that notion.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“It is a concern, I would dismiss it but we are a sovereign and independent nation. We should be able to make decisions that are in the interest of Belize. We are a free and sovereign independent nation and we need to look at what is in front of us, what are the opportunities that we have and we should take them with all respect to the United States.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

Do you find any legitimacy in his concern that if marijuana is legalized in Belize that cartels would take over the industry….

 

John Briceño

“How…that’s a most bizarre or stupid idea. How can the cartels take it over if we are going to give as a country permits to who is going to grow marijuana. It is not like anybody is going to grow marijuana. Even with sugarcane you have to be a cane farmer you have to a license to deliver cane, to be able to grow so it’s not like anybody can grow cane. Just like liquor, not anybody can go and open a distillery. They have to get a license and there has to be strict regulations.”

 

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health issued a release in regards to letters in which Health Minister Pablo Marin discusses with businessmen Zev Ben Yosef and Marco Caruso the possibility of a cannabis farm for the production of marijuana for export for medicinal purposes and the commercial production of hemp in the Stann Creek District.  Minutes later, it issued a clarification pointing out that although marijuana comes from the cannabis plant, not all cannabis is considered to be marijuana. The release further states that Minister Marin did not authorize or green light any of these projects, but “simply lent his support to what was discussed in both meetings as the proposed investments followed the Laws of Belize.” If you’re dizzy, industrial hemp is legal in Belize but for it to be produced, cannabis would have to be legalized. That same plant, with the THC component is marijuana, which is also illegal.

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