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Puerto Rico: The Latest Election Could Nonetheless Be Good Information for Leisure Hashish – Canna Legislation Weblog™

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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 finest shot at leisure hashish legalization.” As of two:00 PM native time on November 5, Delgado has not conceded the race. Nevertheless, the results to this point counsel that the island’s subsequent governor will probably be Pedro Pierluisi, who beforehand served as Puerto Rico’s congressional delegate. Whereas in Congress, Pierluisi caucused with the Democrats, however his important affiliation is with the pro-statehood New Progressive Celebration (PNP).

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

After all, 5 or seven years are a very long time in politics, particularly relating to points the place public opinion is fast-shifting. It’s due to this fact attainable Pierluisi’s views on hashish have advanced since then. Nevertheless, there isn’t a indication of such a shift within the public document.

At this stage, it’s exhausting to examine any impetus for hashish reform from the governor’s mansion. The legislature, nevertheless, could be a distinct story. Delgado’s get together, the Standard Democratic Celebration (PPD) seems set to take a higher variety of seats than the PNP in each chambers, plus there will probably be a higher third-party presence than in years previous; the PPD might 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 Celebration (PIP), Juan Dalmau (the PIP has been round since 1946, however beneath Dalmau its 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% 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 additional 7% of the vote, displaying a rising need for nontraditional political alternate options. It’s affordable to anticipate Pierluisi will search for methods to counter this rising tide. At a minimal, it might give him pause earlier than opposing measures searching for to legalize leisure hashish.

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