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Jul 8, 2022

GOB Confident About Referendum Outcome

When we caught up with Kareem Musa, the Minister of New Growth Industries at an event earlier today, we took the opportunity to ask him about the referendum exercise that the churches have been able to trigger through petitions. The churches have been unwavering in their quest to get the country’s input in the voting process before the government legalizes the production and sale of marijuana as an industry in Belize. Musa said he respects the churches’ position, but he feels the government will get the public’s support.


Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

“I have absolutely all respect for the churches and their view and those who support going to the referendum. A lot of the individuals who signed the petition for a referendum actually support this legal industry that we’re creating, but they want the Belizean people to decide that. So they’re just saying in fairness and in terms of a good democracy, let the people decide. While we support it, let the people decide, and we have to respect that.”


Marion Ali

“And they seem to be convinced that the country will vote against it, or the majority of the people who vote. What’s the government’s perspective on that?”


Kareem Musa

“There has been some polling done and what I can say, based on the polling, a lot of Belizeans recognize that weed is not going anywhere. They take a very practical approach. Even the day after the referendum, if there’s a “no” vote, we will still have cannabis in the country, that’s a fact. You can still have ten grams on you without anybody asking you about it, but what a lot of the people are saying is this vote really about creating an industry for the country, creating more regulations in place to ensure that young children do not have access to cannabis and it is also going to provide, specifically in this Bill, twenty percent of all proceeds will go to rehab programs, which do not currently exist. So a lot of the voting population, like I said, based on polling shows that they understand the issue at hand and that we’re trying to make sense out of nonsense.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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