puerto rico cannabis

Final month, in Puerto Rico: November Surprise for Recreational Cannabis?, we proposed {that a} victory by opposition candidate Charlie Delgado “could be Puerto Rico’s greatest shot at leisure hashish legalization.” As of two:00 PM native time on November 5, Delgado has not conceded the race. Nevertheless, the results up to now counsel that the island’s subsequent governor will likely be Pedro Pierluisi, who beforehand served as Puerto Rico’s congressional delegate. Whereas in Congress, Pierluisi caucused with the Democrats, however his major affiliation is with the pro-statehood New Progressive Occasion (PNP).

At first look, a Pierluisi administration doesn’t seem to bode effectively for hashish legalization. Again in 2015, Pierluisi expressed “concern” over then-Gov. Alejandro García Padilla’s government order legalizing medical hashish. In 2013, he plainly said he was in opposition to hashish decriminalization.

After all, 5 or seven years are a very long time in politics, particularly in terms of points the place public opinion is fast-shifting. It’s due to this fact potential Pierluisi’s views on hashish have advanced since then. Nevertheless, there is no such thing as a indication of such a shift within the public report.

At this stage, it’s exhausting to check any impetus for hashish reform from the governor’s mansion. The legislature, nonetheless, could be a distinct story. Delgado’s occasion, the Standard Democratic Occasion (PPD) seems set to take a better variety of seats than the PNP in each chambers, plus there will likely be a better third-party presence than in years previous; the PPD could have to work along with these events to attain working majorities. Alexandra Lúgaro, the chief of one of many newly represented events, is brazenly in favor of hashish legalization, as is the chief of the Puerto Rican Independence Occasion (PIP), Juan Dalmau (the PIP has been round since 1946, however below Dalmau it’s gubernatorial vote grew sixfold).

General, forces outdoors the standard PNP-PPD duopoly had an unprecedentedly sturdy displaying on this yr’s elections. Pierluisi will certainly pay attention to the very fact he was elected with round 33% of the vote, in comparison with the 42% obtained by former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló in 2016. Lúgaro took over 14% of the vote and Dalmau was not far behind, whereas one other third-party candidate received an additional 7% of the vote, displaying a rising need for nontraditional political options. It’s cheap to anticipate Pierluisi will search for methods to counter this rising tide. At a minimal, it might give him pause earlier than opposing measures looking for to legalize leisure hashish.

Even inside the PNP there could be modifications. As extra U.S. states—even highly conservative ones—welcome leisure hashish, the pro-statehood occasion could more and more heat as much as legalization.