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Jul 6, 2021

The Church and Marijuana Legalization; NEAB Says No

Louis Wade

The government’s recent decision to forge ahead with the decriminalization of small quantities of cannabis and capitalize on cannabis products as a means of generating income and taxes has provoked a mixed reaction. While the National Evangelical Association of Belize continues to bolster its position against legalization amongst its flock, Pastor Louis Wade has been particularly vocal in condemning the move to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act.  Earlier today, News Five spoke with Pastor Wade who says that politicians should not be the ones leading the discussion on marijuana legalization.  He says that it’s a discussion for the medical community to head.

 

Pastor Louis Wade, National Evangelical Association of Belize

“The church has stated its strengthening position on being against any kind of legalization of marijuana or any other illegal drugs.  I can speak only on behalf of my church and those that I represent directly and our position has not changed and cannot change because the science behind marijuana has not changed.  It is true that the social demand is increasing and I must also say that since the decriminalization of marijuana some of our young people are using and experimenting.  At Hedges, one of Belize’s only drug rehabilitation center, we have far more interest in recovery from marijuana and other drugs than before and it’s mostly parents that contact us on behalf of their children, mostly boys. We have a problem where the politicians, I’m not sure when the People’s United Party had a formal position on marijuana from one of their conventions, I don’t go to their conventions.  I’ve read their manifesto and I have not seen anything on legalization of marijuana.  So the virtual campaigns that they had, I don’t see anything on the legalization of marijuana and so maybe that was them and their campaign sponsors or whatever, but that was not generally known by the nation.  The church cannot take the position of win or lose; the church has to speak as a moral conscience, as a moral agent.  The church is comprised of professionals.  We have doctors, nurses, we have lawyers, you know, we have mental health experts and so what the church does is it consults with its professionals and selects the best way forward.”


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