Belize Mulls Decriminalizing Marijuana

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - July 20, 2012

Above: Parliament in Belmopan

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Belize’s Ministry of National Security has appointed a committee to evaluate and make proposals for the decriminalization of small portions of marijuana.

The move, which was announced this week, was driven by “increasing evidence that the current legislation clutters the courts and the prison with primarily a marginalized segment of our population,” the government said in a statement.

The committee said that it recognized that the proposal was “a sensitive issue,” and encouraged interested groups and individuals to express their views on the matter.

Belize’s current laws treat the possession of under 60 grams of marijuana as a criminal offence, punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and/or up to three years imprisonment.

The decriminalization proposal would involve up to 10 grams of marijuana, which would then be subject to fines, mandatory drug education and no imprisonment.

Also proposed would be the provision that no criminal record would be kept in the first instance, and portions of the penalty be reserved for drug education.

The committee emphasized that the proposal was “not to legalize the offence, thereby purging it of all its penalties,” however.

“It is merely to reduce and regulate,” the committee said. “This is further supported by international trends towards decriminalization.”

The news follows a proposal by another Central American country, Guatemala, for the legalization of drugs in a bid to combat trafficking.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina has said that doing so would help reduce the increasing violence due to the trade in illicit narcotics.

Popular Posts the sexiest beaches including this resort at atlantis

The Sexiest Beaches in the Caribbean to Visit Right Now 

One is a beach with a nightclub-style pool right next door. Another is filled with beach bars — and even has its own au natural corner. Then there’s a beach that’s practically a nonstop party.  There are so many things that […]

The Best Caribbean Islands to Visit This Summer, From Antigua to St Croix

verandah antigua

We’ve been saying it for years, and we’ll keep saying it: in some ways, the Caribbean is even better in the summer months. The water is warm. It’s a bit less crowded, a little bit quieter. At night, the trade […]

The Winners of the 2024 Caribbean Green Awards 

caribbean green

With almost 20,000 votes, the winners of the Caribbean Green Awards 2024 Presented by E-Finity have been crowned.  From state-of-the-art marine conservation projects to hotels that are redefining sustainability, the Green movement has never been stronger in the Caribbean.  “This […]

Related Posts belize margaritaville

American Airlines Just Added More Nonstop Flights to Belize

Lush jungles, sparkling coral reefs and a pervasive sense of adventure have helped Belize captivate travelers in recent years, with tourism continuing to soar to the destination on the Caribbean coast of Central America.  Now, it’s getting even easier to […]

Belize Continues Tourism Renaissance

belize tourism beach

Tourism continues to heat up in Belize, which saw one of the Caribbean’s fastest rates of growth last year. The Caribbean hotpot on the coast of Central America saw a 25 percent increase in tourist arrivals in 2023, with a […]

The Best Caribbean Islands to Visit in 2024, From Tiny Beach Towns to Hidden Gems

grenada best caribbean islands to visit

Maybe you’ve been to the Caribbean a dozen times. Maybe you’re planning your first Caribbean vacation. The Caribbean continues to reinvent itself, to rewrite its story. The Caribbean just keeps getting better. As the region comes off what was a […]


Sign up for Caribbean Journal's free newsletter for a daily dose of beaches, hotels, rum and the best Caribbean travel information on the net.

No. Thank You