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Don’t go down path to legalise marijuana – Churches tell gov’t


The Council of Churches in Belize issued a media statement late July on an important matter for the nation–the legalisation of marijuana.

The release stated that despite assurances that the present government has made to the Council of Churches that it would seek and consider input on important moral and societal issues, it has not.

“The Church is left to respond to the pastoral challenges of societal ills without benefit of input. We find this inconsiderate and disrespectful,” the Council said via video statement.

In it, the Council of Churches reminded its government, as well as its countrymen and women that there are some basic values and principles that they need to uphold. These, the group said, include mutual respect, justice for every person, equity, and solidarity.

“In addition, we must be ready for sincere dialogue. There should be a dialogue between the Council of Churches and the Government at all times, and we believe Government has the duty to create room for such dialogue,” the release said.

Regarding the legalisation of marijuana, the Council of Churches believes that the growth and distribution of marijuana creates and/or enhances societal and moral ills already plaguing the country.

Legalising the growing and distribution of a drug, which will ultimately be available locally and consumed on a recreational basis “is not a path civil society should choose to take.”

The Council of Churches asserted, attention should not be diverted from current health crises in the country, not only Covid-19, but also diabetes, high blood pressure, and other diseases that plague society.

“Nor do we want to add fuel by contributing to the risks of the use of other illegal/illicit proscribed substances through the legalisation of marijuana,” the release said.

“We need to have the courage to admit that there is a lot wrong with our nation. It is our patriotic duty to point this out with all objectivity and sincerity.”

The Council of Churches highlighted that the rule of law has too often been disregarded giving way to widespread impunity, leading to a progressive breakdown of good order.

The group said there is little confidence these days in the nation’s ability to enforce laws, and “we believe that if the legalisation of marijuana bill is passed, that any regulations and enforcement thereof will be effectively disregarded.” The Council of Churches called on all to pray for the common moral and societal good.