By Alexis R. Milan, Staff Reporter
The Committee on the Decriminalizing of Marijuana has recommended to the government that no penalties be brought against anyone found with up to 10 grams of marijuana.
The Committee presented their findings during a press briefing Friday morning and explained their analysis of the matter over the last two years.
Dough Singh, Committee chairman said their recommendations have been submitted to Cabinet for review but said there is still more room for further analysis.
Singh noted the move by Jamaica this week to decriminalize up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use and said that decision may have been based on the legal limit for what is considered possession. He added that while Belize has similar legislations their recommendation was made after consultation with various institutions and stakeholders.
According to Singh, throughout their research, they were met with hesitance and resistance. He said the Chamber of Commerce recomended that only up to five grams be decriminalized, but their final recommendation was made after reviewing all material available to them, including reports from Jamaica and Canada.
Singh used two bags filled with tobacco to illustrate the difference between 10 grams, the amount proposed by the Committee for decriminalization, and two ounces, the amount decriminalized for personal use by Jamaica this week.
Singh added that Jamaica’s legislation went a step further by allowing the cultivation of up to five plants for personal consumption.
Singh said that even though the report is finished it may still be some time before legislative changes are made. He said Jamaica’s first report on decriminalization was done 14 years before their government made changes and Belize has only just produced its first report on the issue.
He added, though, that ultimately the decision is left to the government to decide.