The recent approval of a bill by Belize’s parliament allowing for up to 10 grams of marijuana without criminal penalty could influence Caribbean trade bloc governments into changing attitudes and draconian laws governing it, reports Caribbean Life:
Douglas Slater who is an assistant secretary general at the Guyana-based group headquarters said Wednesday that the recent move by Belize and Jamaica in 2015 could well influence the work of a regional commission now canvassing feedback from citizens in all 15 nations in the grouping.
The commission, comprising medical and legal experts, social workers and law enforcement officers among others headed to Suriname for its round of consultations after wrapping up two days of similar work in neighboring Guyana this week. It has already been to several countries in the Eastern Caribbean and plans to visit every member nation of the grouping in the coming months.
The commission was established back in 2015 by Caribbean governments amid mounting complaints from sections of society about a growing number of youths being unnecessarily sent to jail for possession of small amounts of marijuana mostly for personal use.
[. . .] Slater said governments have sent out the commission to gather feedback and present it to authorities “but some governments like Belize and Jamaica have already moved to take unilateral action. This could possibly positively influence the way this whole issue develops moving forward.”
The commission is also taking feedback on arguments about medical and religious use of marijuana apart from usage for recreational purposes. [. . .]
In relation to Jamaica, the University of the West Indies is already collaborating with authorities to development and market medical products to treat glaucoma and other diseases, while citizens could have up to two ounces in their possession legally.