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Apr 4, 2022

NEAB and Other Groups to Push for Referendum against Legalizing Marijuana

Louis Wade

A coalition of groups who oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational use have reportedly written to the Prime Minister with their intent to trigger a people’s referendum. According to the Referendum Act, chapter ten of the Laws of Belize, a referendum may be triggered when a petition receives the signatures of ten percent of the voting population. As of February, that amounts to eighteen thousand six hundred and sixty- nine voters. Pastor Louis Wade of the Belmopan Church of the Nazarene spoke about the plan to seek a referendum during his Sunday service in Belmopan. Here are those comments from a live stream on their Facebook page.


Louis Wade, Pastor 

“Regardless of the fact that we pleaded, begged, lobbied, but it is not the end. I have been in meetings since somewhere around Tuesday, practically every day watching, and even all the way up through as I said, to just about half hour ago was still in meetings. Because, the church has decided, and when I say the church I mean the Evangelical Association (NEAB) which is what we belong to, the Belize Evangelical Association of Churches, as well as the Council of Churches which include Roman Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, all of the churches have agreed together that since government doesn’t want to give a referendum to hear the people’s opinion on the issue then the church will trigger a referendum. It is only one time in the history of our country that we have triggered a referendum, and if you will recall, it was during the off shore drilling argument, when eighteen thousand people signed a petition for government to trigger a referendum. Oceana decided if the government does not want to have a referendum, we will do our own referendum. Then, they held what is called a people’s referendum. So, government still ignored the people’s referendum but as you know, when the people speak government, we know they ought to listen and many times they don’t. But, the church is committed and we have sought and are getting a very wide group of organizations, a wide coalition that is together partnering with the church. The government has set April eleventh as the date when they will sign it into law.”

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