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UDP, churches call for referendum on marijuana legalization

By Michelle Sutherland

The United Democratic Party (UDP) has come out to throw their support behind the churches in asking for a referendum so that the public could decide on whether or not they want the government to legalize marijuana.

The UDP issued a press release in which they noted, "The United Democratic Party unreservedly supports the Churches' call for a referendum to decide on the legalization of marijuana. In the name of Democracy LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE IN A REFERENDUM!'' They went on to say that as a mass party, one of the UDP's guiding principles is to heed the will of the majority of citizens that they have sworn to serve.

Prior to that statement, the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) had sent out their own release in which they argued that the people of Belize should be given a voice in such a radical shift in the moral fabric of our society. They claimed that it should be left up to the citizen of this country to decide on turning an illegal drug over into a legal ''commodity'' which according to them could prove to be a horrendous ramification for the future of our nation.

In closing off their release, NEAB pointed out that every nation or state that has legalized marijuana in the past has done so by way of a referendum, and as such Belize should do the same.

Last week the Senate passed the Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Control and Licensing Bill of 2022, which, once assented by the Governor-General, would legalize the recreational use, cultivation, processing, distribution, and delivery of cannabis products for adult use in Belize.

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