Sometimes in the tide of times, advice comes too late. It may be so in this case, but we feel honour bound to offer it.

The Government of Belize is about to introduce legislation to decriminalize the use of small amounts of marijuana for recreational
smoking. The legislation, we believe, is already prepared, and all that remains is for the National Assembly and the Senate to give their approval.

The Government should know however, that it is taking a grave risk with our society if it does not build an adequate firewall to protect Belizean boys and girls from the baleful influence of this drug .
Marijuana use may be acceptable under certain circumstances for adults, but marijuana is devastating for users under 18, whose brain mechanism is not mature enough to withstand the addictive effect of this powerful drug.

Before it goes ahead with its plan, our National Assembly should know more about the neurological effect of marijuana affecting Belize’s young population from age 10 to 18.

It is not true to say that the marijuana effect is similar to the effect that liquor or cigarettes have on a young person. Marijuana will do damage to the delicate electrical circuit board of the brain of anyone who gets caught up in its euphoria.

For such a person the damage will be massive and it will be permanent. For teenage boys and girls who come under the spell of marijuana, life will never be the same!

Unfortunately for Belize, there are people and organizations which have a vested interest in marijuana as a commodity of commerce. They will work and campaign for its general acceptance. Already gang members and their suppliers are investing enormous time and energy in their promotion of marijuana as acceptable recreation, and gangs are actually killing off one another so they can get to dominate the market.

We believe there is still time to reflect; to show some concern for our brave boys and girls who in a little while will have to assume the responsibilities of adulthood and will be needing all their native energy and ingenuity and good sense to make Belize a better place.

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