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PUP Leader Briceno Says Legalize, Tax Marijuana #532884
10/23/18 05:34 AM
10/23/18 05:34 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,166
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

This interview was conducted at Diab's Charter House Building, where, a few doors down, PUP Leader John Briceno records his weekly statement. This one is making news because Briceno has taken a bold step - he's calling for Belize to do what Jamaica and other countries have done: legalize marijuana, and turn it into an export market. In fact, he appears in front of a screen which says: "Grow the economy. Legalize it. Tax it."

That's bold - and Briceno's handlers even pandered to his audience by tracking teh message with Marlon Asher's "Ganja Farmer" track in the background.

Yeah, he went there.

Briceno was emboldened by Canada's legalization of weed - here's how he explained what it can do for Belize:

Hon. John Briceno- PUP Leader
"Canada just legalized marijuana for recreational use. 32 countries worldwide already have some legalized form of marijuana use. This is big news for it provides an opportunity for the creation of a new industry in Belize. People opposed to the law to allow for the recreational use of marijuana said the whole issue was a crazy idea. While those in support of it said it would be one way to take the whole issue out of the black-market, out of the hands of criminals and put it in a place where it will benefit others. Here is where I see an opportunity and why I am speaking about it in this week's message. Benefitting us as a country with a struggling economy, we have to open our eyes to every opportunity that can create jobs for our people. Today, the legal marijuana industry world-wide is a $144 billion industry. Think about it, something we burn and destroy every chance we get could earn us in the millions if we could only put the proper mechanism in place to develop it legally. Just think of what the harvesting of legal marijuana could do for our small farmers. As a leader in this country I want to grow and build on our mixed economy model and if we could become a part of this rapidly growing industry. If through this we can create sustainable jobs for our people then I want to partner with legitimate stakeholders. We can take advantage of these opportunities in a way that will benefit our people. The opportunities in this $144 billion industry are endless and we have to take advantage of it. I am putting together a team of people from my party to start the research and discussion to develop a plan."

We'll standby for reaction from the churches and the evangelicals.

Channel 7

Re: PUP Leader Briceno Says Legalize, Tax Marijuana [Re: Marty] #532897
10/24/18 05:37 AM
10/24/18 05:37 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,166
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
GOB Rejects Leader of the Opposition’s Call to legalize the drug trade

Cabinet, at its meeting today, condemned the Leader of the Opposition’s statement calling on Belize to completely legalize the drug trade in our country, and in particular to grow marijuana for export to the United States of America.

The sudden position adopted by the People’s United Party via its leader is simplistic, ignorant and downright dangerous. Cabinet notes that even if the Leader of the Opposition had limited his proposal to Belize’s drug production solely for internal consumption, this would have required a level of thought, study, detail and societal consultation that is altogether missing from the hurry-come-up idea.

But even more serious, is the notion of exporting marijuana to the U.S. would constitute the very serious offense of illegal drug trafficking under American federal law. While a few states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana, it is still illegal under federal law. It is an activity that U.S. law enforcement authorities are relentlessly trying to interdict. U.S. Government agencies also require that producing countries cooperate with them, and the Drug Enforcement Authority in particular, in making every effort to stamp out the cross-border trade. Any perceived lack of seriousness on our part results in U.S. naming and shaming, declaring us a pariah state and visiting concrete punitive measures on Belize. The correspondent banking challenges already put serious pressure on Belize’s financial services industry and would only worsen with the legalization of marijuana. Furthermore, this would almost certainly result in a crackdown on the issuance of visas to Belizeans.

There is also great disregard for obvious facts and Belizean intelligence inherent in Briceno’s proposal. If the U.S. ever decides to federally legalize marijuana production, it will grow its own product employing its huge comparative technological and engineering advantages. Indeed, rather than wanting to buy from Belize it would want to sell to Belize and others for increased market share.

The statement also overlooks any concerns that the religious community, social workers, schools, the police, non-governmental organizations, and parents undoubtedly have.

The Government of Belize completely rejects this hasty proposal that has serious implications for national security and international relations.

Re: PUP Leader Briceno Says Legalize, Tax Marijuana [Re: Marty] #532994
10/30/18 06:16 AM
10/30/18 06:16 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,166
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

PM Says LOO Went Looney With “Legalize It”

And, last week, that same Cabinet viciously attacked the leader of the opposition for floating the idea that he would support full legalization, taxation and exportation of marijuana.

Today, the PM called it a "looney tunes" idea:

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"But the one thing we will not do, is legalize Marijuana."

"You know the Leader of the Opposition, in trying for political advantage, too often goes off the deep end."

"But this latest googly of his has to be one of his most fantastical ever. To propose legalizing marijuana in Belize, especially for an export market, is patently bizarre in the circumstances. Indeed, it is downright dangerous since it would certainly provoke one response I can immediately think of and which would surely destroy us. So, my Government pours scorn on the notion."

"Now I need to make clear that this has nothing to do with any kind of moral calculus. While I don't know enough, my instinctive feeling is that marijuana can be no more harmful than liquor. In any event, I repeat that morality is not the basis for GOB's position. Rather, it is the question of how on earth we could ever legalize, and for export, when the weed is still illegal in all our neighbouring countries, and especially in the federal US. If we grew weed legally in Belize, the cartels who are now clandestinely landing planes and using us as a base for their transshipment to the US, would openly come in and take over production in Belize. They would continue to illegally penetrate the US but from a legal production platform in Belize. What you think the US would say and do about that? Even now when marijuana and all psychotropic drugs are illegal in Belize, the US annually excoriates us for not being successful enough in stamping out such drugs in Belize that find their way into the US. But notwithstanding this we would, if the Leader of the Opposition were to ever be in charge, provoke the Americans by legitimizing and providing a beachhead for further penetration into the US of drugs originating in Belize. If that ever happens, goodbye correspondent banking, goodbye financial system, goodbye trade, goodbye lifeblood."

Hemp Law Coming Quickly

But, the PM did concede that hemp is quote, "a perfectly sound alternative to the Leader of the Opposition's lunatic notion of an internationally illegal marijuana industry." End quote.

The Attorney General is drafting the necessary legislation - and he told us where's he's at with that today,.

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
"It's already legal to grow hemp. We have to create regulations. The minister of agriculture along with the minister of health, because we have to make sure that it's really hemp. As you know legal hemp is 0.3% THC content. So they will have to be some monitoring. It's not like you are growing tomatoes or bananas. There will have to be constant monitoring by the authorities that it is hemp you are growing. The hemp and marijuana are first cousins, if not very close half-brothers. So we have to be careful that people are growing hemp and that the THC content is within the legal limitations. So we have to craft legislation to make sure that it won't be cumbersome for people to apply to grow, but at the same time we make that's its hemp and not marijuana."

Peyreffite says that legislation should be ready by next week.

Channel 7

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