Marijuana consultations to determine the drug’s future in the region Print E-mail
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Thursday, 30 November 2017 00:00

The National Consultations on Marijuana was held on Thursday, November 23, 2017 at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza through the collaborative efforts of the Attorney General’s Ministry of Belize with and under the guidance of CARICOM’s Regional Commission on Marijuana. Group discussions took place from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. after which a public discussion was held. The Chair of the Regional Commission on Marijuana along with three other commissioners and two representatives from the CARICOM Secretariat spearheaded these discussions.

The consultations were focused on conducting examinations into the social, economic, health, and legal issues surrounding the use of marijuana in the Caribbean, determining whether or not to change marijuana’s current drug classification, recommending possible legal and administrative conditions in the event of a re-classification, and preparing a final report to be submitted to the heads of CARICOM.

Having recently seen the institution of an amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act in Belize, Attorney General, Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, says the region will take the next steps together. He told us that, “what the Commission will do, they will compile the report from each country; put it together along with recommendations they may make to the CARICOM Heads, and then each country will decide if they want to follow the recommendations of the Commission, or how they want to proceed in general with the discussion on marijuana.”

At the consultation, discussions were divided by focus groups. In the morning, the Education and youth sector, comprised of students from secondary and high schools, community colleges, tertiary learning institutions and other youth bodies, held an interactive and open discussion on their experiences. Also in the morning, faith based and Non-governmental organizations met with the same purpose. After a break, the third group, medical researchers and practitioners, practitioners of alternative medicine, advocates for the use of medical marijuana, representatives from the National Drug Council, law enforcement and legal practitioners met. To end the evening, a public consultation was held. The consultations were declared a success.