Belize is one of those interesting countries where cannabis legality is a yes and no situation. Though there are some somewhat legal ways to smoke weed in Belize, it is still largely illegal, even if the attitude wouldn’t suggest it. Having said that, there is definitely a good vibe towards cannabis in Belize, and weed tourism is certainly rife.
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Weed Laws Of Belize
First of all, let’s talk about the legality of weed. In 2017 it became legal to possess up to 10 grams of weed and to smoke in your home in Belize. However, it is only legal to smoke in your own home or in another person’s home with permission. Because of this, cannabis is still considered technically decriminalized rather than legal. If anyone is caught with over 10 grams, or appears to have any intentions of growing/selling cannabis, that is a different matter altogether. When it comes to the illegal sale or growing of marijuana, Belize still maintains strict laws. If found to be in violation of these laws, perpetrators could face up to two years in prison, along with a $75,000 BZD fine ($37,200 USD at the time of writing), or both. Amounts greater than 60 grams of cannabis will likely be deemed as drug trafficking.
One of the more common questions that pop up in the fledgling stages of cannabis legality; what about addicts? After the decriminalization of cannabis in Belize, it was ensured that support was available for those who struggle with substance abuse. This is an aspect of the Belize National Anti-Drug Strategy and ensures psychiatric and physical support from practice nurses. Unfortunately, this support is not yet widely available across Belize.
Law Reform Pushback
Belize has traditionally been a zero-tolerance country when it comes to drugs. This changed in 2017 with the decriminalization of small quantities of cannabis. Locals are encouraged to enjoy responsibly and keep it away from children, as with any other drug. Unfortunately, this decriminalization displeased the council of Churches. Pastor Lance Lewis, head of the National Evangelical Association of Belize stated that cannabis use would bring more harm to society. However, even the pastor was in favor of medicinal use as well as the manufacturing of hemp.
Weed Tourism In Belize
Belize has skyrocketed on the list of the worlds top weed-smoking countries. They have even made it past Jamaica by four spots, with around 8.5% of Belizeans smoking weed. This has earned them the number 18 spot.
Though Belize is seen to be one of the most 420 friendly countries for travel, it is still not legal for tourists to smoke weed. Any weed that could be bought locally would be illegal, as would bringing some into the country. It is also true that smoking cannabis is only tolerated in private residences. However, there are some hotels that will allow smoking on their premises, making the consumption somewhat legal.
The Weed Laws of Colombia
To sum up, Belize is still in the early stages of tolerant cannabis decriminalization. With only three years under their belt, they are still evolving and changing. Hopefully in the future cannabis will become completely legal so that Belize can take advantage of the booming cannabis tourism industry. If they were to fully make recreational weed legal, Belize would be the first country in the Caribbean and Central American region to do so.