The top police officer in the country of Belize, Minister of Police and Public Safety Doug Singh, has said he will be asking the cabinet to remove criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Singh’s ministry is working with some help from outside folks to prepare the final document that will be sent to the cabinet. Currently it is undecided if they will push for the for decriminalization of five grams or seven.
The main concerns for Singh is giving first time offenders and young people a chance to get through life and not have it ruined be a small time marijuana possesion offense. Singh said,
“…after a certain period of time, persons who are charged criminally for marijuana will have their record wiped clean. It makes no sense for a young person who made the mistake of being caught with a small amount of marijuana to have to go through life with a criminal record.”
Currently a marijuana offense in Belize can be very costly. No matter how small the quantity, if you are caught you can expect to be arrested, brought to court, and fined. If the fine is not paid you end up in prison, a tough deal in a country where one in five are unemployed and one in three live below the poverty line.
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