PUP proposes meat pies and weed to stimulate the economy

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Jose Abelardo Mai
Kareem Musa

The People’s United Party continue with their narrow-minded approach to stimulating the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Two of the more vocal and important ministers of government in this regard, Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise and Kareem Musa, Minister of New Growth Industries have weighed in on this. Astoundingly, in a combined use of brain power, these two have come up with a little more than a weed smoker’s remedy to the ‘munchies.’
Mai, who is bent on opening the Free Zone, despite the Covid-19 exposure and danger it poses due to the movement of Mexicans to and from the area, has come up with a meat pie solution. He admitted that there are studies which show that there is a need for diversification within the Corozal Free Zone for it to become viable. Speaking off the top of his head, one of those diversifications which he suggested is that meat pies and buns begin to be produced and sold to the Mexicans. He added that the Mexicans come all the way from Merida in their Suburban vehicles and pick up the meat pies in Belize. Meat pies! We were taken aback because, as Minister of Enterprise, the best he could come up with was meat pies and buns as a form of diversification in the Zone.
Then comes Kareem Musa, he said: “We have been spectators, watching the world pass us by in terms of progress in the Cannabis industry. Many countries are taking advantage of the opportunities arising but Belize has not. I would say up to 90% of all Cannabis that is recreationally consumed in Belize comes from either Mexico or the United States and so that is a lot of Belizean dollars going out to other countries that have been taking advantage of these opportunities. On the cusp of 2021 I have been tasked by the prime minister to lead the Ministry of New Growth Industries and that includes, but is not limited to hemp, industrial hemp cultivation in Belize as well as the possibility of Cannabis cultivation and manufacturing in Belize…” He took no time to pause and think about what he was saying. While some states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana, the US Federal Government still has not. This means that any revenue that is generated from the sale of cannabis cannot freely enter into the U.S. economy. Now imagine if the Americans are having problems with this in their own country, how would Belize fare off?
Belize already has serious problems in the banking sector with de-risking and the loss of correspondent banking. Imagine introducing proceeds from the sale of marijuana into the official banking system in Belize. That would mean a complete disconnection from doing business with banks in America by the local banks. I guess when you are high, you don’t generally think things through. The use of marijuana generally gives the user some feeling that they can solve the world’s problems — that and a bad case of the munchies. We wonder about these two!