April 11 was a big date on Latin America’s election calendar, with Peru holding the first round of its presidential elections and Ecuador a decisive second round. For cannabis observers, the day began with the prospect of encouraging results in both countries. Instead, the outcome was a double disappointment. In Peru, the two candidates that made it to the second right are openly hostile to cannabis, while Ecuador’s president-elect appears less likely to push for adult-use legalization than his opponent.
Needless to say, presidential elections in any country are about more than cannabis or any other single issue. Voters in Peru and Ecuador surely had a lot of things on their minds on April 11, with cannabis being just one of them–and even then, not for everyone. Moreover, even proponents of adult-use legalization might have solid reasons for supporting candidates opposed to such changes. This is all to say we are not in any way judging the choices of the Ecuadorean and Peruvian electorates. In any case, vox populi, vox dei.
Still, it appears that the door to further legalization is closed for now in both Andean countries, which in itself is disappointing. In Ecuador, conservative Guillermo Lasso won. As