puerto rico cannabis

Final month, in Puerto Rico: November Surprise for Recreational Cannabis?, we proposed {that a} victory by opposition candidate Charlie Delgado “may 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. Nonetheless, the results to date recommend that the island’s subsequent governor might be Pedro Pierluisi, who beforehand served as Puerto Rico’s congressional delegate. Whereas in Congress, Pierluisi caucused with the Democrats, however his most important affiliation is with the pro-statehood New Progressive Celebration (PNP).

At first look, a Pierluisi administration doesn’t seem to bode properly 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.

In fact, 5 or seven years are a very long time in politics, particularly with regards to points the place public opinion is fast-shifting. It’s due to this fact doable Pierluisi’s views on hashish have advanced since then. Nonetheless, there is no such thing as a indication of such a shift within the public file.

At this stage, it’s laborious to check any impetus for hashish reform from the governor’s mansion. The legislature, nevertheless, may be a special story. Delgado’s occasion, the Fashionable Democratic Celebration (PPD) seems set to take a larger variety of seats than the PNP in each chambers, plus there might be a larger third-party presence than in years previous; the PPD could must 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 Celebration (PIP), Juan Dalmau (the PIP has been round since 1946, however beneath Dalmau its gubernatorial vote grew sixfold).

Total, forces outdoors the normal PNP-PPD duopoly had an unprecedentedly sturdy exhibiting on this yr’s elections. Pierluisi will certainly pay attention to the actual fact he was elected with round 33% of the vote, in comparison with the 42% acquired 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 gained an extra 7% of the vote, exhibiting a rising need for nontraditional political alternate options. It’s cheap to count on Pierluisi will search for methods to counter this rising tide. At a minimal, it could give him pause earlier than opposing measures looking for to legalize leisure hashish.

Even inside the PNP there may be adjustments. 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.