Reefer madness, Belize style. So you're a young cruise passenger wanting to get high while visiting some of the ports you visit. Certainly no one in a third world place like Belize will hassle you, right?
Consider the following news reports from Belize regarding the consequences of cruise passengers choosing to either buy pot or bring a few joints ashore while cruising to Belize.
Channel 5 Belize reports of a young passenger who was spotted by the local police with a marijuana cigarette. She quickly swallowed it as the cops moved in on her.
Witnesses say the two male officers choked her and dragged her on the ground in front of a crowd that was infuriated by the way she was manhandled. After a day and a half in lockdown, she was charged with resisting arrest, obstruction of justice and harm against a police officer. She pleaded not guilty to three charges and told the court that she was in shock about how she was treated.
The local magistrate told her that because she is not a Belizean, bail was not an option.
Eventually, two of the charges were dropped and the cruise passenger was found guilty of obstruction of justice and fined two hundred and fifty dollars to be paid immediately or face jail. The cashier had already closed for the day and she had to stay the weekend in jail until Monday when she can pay her fine.
In another incident, 7 News Belize reports that a cruise passenger to Belize was arrested for possession of 2.9 grams of pot two days ago.
The passenger is a 21 year old American college student from Florida. The incident occurred around 4:30 P.M. on Tuesday at the Tourism Village where many passengers visit in Belize.
A local magistrate fined the passenger $1,000 or in default serve one year in prison.
2.9 grams probably cost him $25. The racket in countries like this (Bermuda being the worst) is that no one will contest the legality of the search or the penalty when threatened will a year in jail for such a small amount of pot.
You can read another similar situation involving a 25 year old cruise passenger in Belize here. The passenger faced a seven month sentence for 8 grams of pot because he did not have the funds to pay the fine.
These local news outlets do a remarkably detailed job reporting these minor offenses while always publishing a photo of the U.S. citizen busted for pot. In none of these stories did the newspapers identify the name of the cruise ship where the passengers came from.
Hunting stoned cruise passengers seems to be a sport in Belize