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.