New York: Legalization Measures Possess Majority Support

Most New York state voters support regulating the adult use of cannabis, while a super-majority endorse legalizing the plant for therapeutic purposes, according to a recently released Quinnipiac University poll.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents support “allowing adults in New York State to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.” Only 39 percent of respondents opposed the idea.

Respondents most likely to favor legalization include those age 18 to 29 (83 percent), Democrats (65 percent), those age 30 to 49 (61 percent), and men (63 percent). Support is significant lower among women (51 percent), Republicans (39 percent), and those over the age of 65 (38 percent).

On the issue of legalizing cannabis for therapeutic purposes, voter support rose to 88 percent — with the issue receiving super-majority support from respondents of every age and political affiliation.

In separate questions, only 13 percent of respondents say that they believe that cannabis is “more dangerous” than alcohol, and fewer than half believe that it is a ‘gateway’ to other illicit substance use.

The survey possesses a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points.

Legislation to legalize the possession, cultivation, and retail sale of the plant — the “Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act” — is pending in both the New York state Senate and the Assembly. Separate legislation to allow qualified patients to possess and purchase cannabis for therapeutic purposes also remains pending.

In January, Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo — who had previously expressed opposition to allowing for the medical use of cannabis — announced plans to use his executive powers to revive a dormant research program that would allow for the use of government-grown marijuana in select hospitals. However, efforts to reestablish similar programs in other states have not been effective.

25 thoughts

  1. 13 percent of respondents should not be giving input to a subject they have no knowledge on.
    Cannabis cannot be compared to alcohol, cannabis has never killed anyone. Also please stop calling cannabis a gateway drug, the only reason someone would come to that conclusion is because it is labelled as an illegal drug- so let’s change that and stop the confusion which clearly is the bigger issue.

  2. As New York goes, so goes the nation.

    If New York would legalize cannabis for both medical and recreational use, industrial use, then, as a country, we would be a gigantic step closer to ending this madness of marginalizing people, especially people of color, by putting them through the criminal justice pulverizing machine, you know, the system that pounds them down and keeps them down, and then the Right bitches about how they are a drag on society because they can’t have/get jobs and thus are dependent on social services.

    President Obama ought to give NY the nod to go ahead and legalize, and if they can’t get the legislation passed into law then to just simply stop spending any money whatsoever on enforcement to bust and close down cannabis coffeeshops, starting with The Big Apple.

  3. The New York mmj program is to be run by the NYS Dept. Of Health. Nothing available yet on their web site, I guess I need to call them. The mmj is supposed to be supplied from marijuana seized by the State Police or the federal government. Not retail, licensed and taxed like other states.

    There are legalization and medical mj bills ready to go up for Senate vote yet never makes it to the floor before the end of session (June 19, 2014). This year will be different because the 88% will be watching and our vote wants to see this happen.

    Please stop voting for senators like Greg Ball who still calls marijuana a gateway drug with no medical benefits. Yea I write to him a lot but keep getting the same boiler plate letter response.

    NORML, can you put a countdown clock for New York Senate end of session to let them know we are waiting for them to bring this up for a vote? Or better yet find a way to at least bring this to the floor and be voted on?

    Full legalization will happen, it just appears that our forefathers put a lot of layers of law down to make sure what ever they are hiding stays hidden.

    Oh, I bought hemp oil today, it can only be imported because well we all know how dangerous hemp can be.

  4. Wow 88% for medical. In the next few years it will be in the 90s. Prohibition is on the way out it difficult to find anyone that thinks you should be arrested for cannabis other than people that profit from it. I think we will see some sort of federal legalization in the next 5 years.

  5. With such a majority in favor of legalization, what is the current status of a ballot measure for New York? Is any group actively working on this? Thanks.

  6. drug testing keeps legal status a moot point. why are you begging these people to tax you on something they wont let you use anyway?

  7. The 52% of women opposed is surprising. I wonder if it’s misconstrued as just as likely as alcohol to lead to violent, abusive relationships. Not so, ladies.

  8. Regarding drug testing for cannabis making the legal status a moot point, that is right now becoming an ever more short-lived aspect of the change, the growth (pun intended), we have going on.

    In some countries they sent a joint to their politicians, and I have seen over the decades such organized actions or means of agitprop, such as Colin Davies giving the Queen a flowering cannabis plant, a flower for her.

    How about this for agitprop: Operation What a Pisser?!

    You prohibitionists like piss! Well, while it is legal to send a container of urine through the mail, it has to be correctly triple packaged and sealed, it would be much easier to keep pissing on a dish towel or let your dog keep pissing on the same dish towel, let it dry, then package it up so that no odor is detected, then mail it in to your politicians. Farmers in France dump milk tanker trucks and stuff on the streets to make their points, so you could, in theory, have farmers dumping tankers of animal urine in solidarity in support of the Million Marijuana March. Americans tend Not to protest in such ways, but done in DC or simultaneously also in some state capitals it would definitely get the media’s attention. It’s organic and biodegradable, fertilizer for the Mall in DC, nice green lawn on the Mall afterward.

    Let’s hope prohibition is soon over, drug testing for cannabis soon over, because that idead stinks. Ha ha!

  9. @Galileo, I think there is a generation-lag with women because from childhood they are more rigidly controlled by their mothers than boys are. Too often the father just lets the mother take charge over a daughter and decree the “conservative” just-don’t-learn-about-it rule.

  10. I am a Woman of 73 years. I am handicapped, and use mj for pain and to fight a MRSA infection. But, this is not new to me. I started smoking when I was about 14, supplied to me by my grandmother. She had been a midwife in the early 1900’s and used mj to abate the pains of childbirth, and to ‘ease the cumming for the child’. I used it for debilitating cramps. This is why when offered the “terrible’ marijuana I said ‘This is medicine’. I sang blues for a while in CNY while in college but gave that up when I left my male friend.
    I continued to use marijuana until I was no longer having a period. But, when I gave it up I started to get one staph infection after another until I was floored by MRSA which has not gone away for 15 years now. So I started to grow my own and the infection is receding.

    Did this keep me from being a good person? NO. I went to Cortland State, taught school, left education, and became a dental tech, started my own lab and was successful for many years. Then I merged with a friend which proved disastrous and ended up working for a large lab in Baltimore MD., then began the infections.
    I moved to back to NY to start my own lab again and was knocked out by the last infection I caught in a lab in Syracuse. My lab sits empty in my home as I cannot practice with MRSA.
    Now I would like to go back to music and singing to travel around to seniors and convince them “To Give Cannabus a Chance.” It was known in China 5,000 years ago as a Tincture of Immortality because it eased many of the problems associated with aging.
    I do not think it it is enough to reserve cannabis for medicine. Smoking only once a month can protect one from catching many medical conditions such as cancer, and even staph infections.
    So using protects one, as well as providing greater conviviality. I believe in full legalization. Legalization will come. Prohibition did not work in ancient Egypt for coffee, and it will not work for anything people want. Can you imagine what would happen if coffee were prohibited to Americans and all other countries had coffee?
    The only reason many countries prohibit marijuana is that our country has bullied them to comply.
    And of course it is a waste of money to attempt to eradicate a plant that is so helpful. We are cutting down the rainforests [Which the earth needs to balance the oxygen in the air], to get wood that takes years to grow, when we could be making from hemp any thing made from wood. Hemp grows in 3 months and is good for the soil.
    A hundred years ago one could buy cannabis in any apothecary [drug store] and it was used by most doctors.
    Do you know the incidence of cancer went up 23 percent from 1937 to 1948? Could it be because the people were no longer protected by the wonderful plant that the Creator provided for us?
    Get the OLDS to go for it! They vote

  11. Woohoo, now New York is on my list of vacation destinations, and easily within driving distance!

    Oh, and Scott, if mj use is legalized, then that eliminates the justification by most employers that “it’s illegal.” However employers are allowed to discriminate against tobacco users even off duty use, so I suppose they could also prohibit cannabis use for same reason, even though cannabis is actually an Anti-inflammatory (tobacco is inflammatory) (or at least cigarettes b/c of all the chemicals in processing) so if the truth is allowed to come to light we’ll find that cannabis use actually has health benefits. Several studies find that long time smokers tend to be thinner and more physically active than even nonsmokers, or that cannabis use mitigates the occurrence of cancer and can help slow its progress.
    Thank all those helicopter moms out there for that 52%.

  12. Legalization bills have passed the Assembly for approval by the Senate in 2013:

    Medical bills have passed the Assembly for approval by the Senate in 2013:

    It is incredibly unfortunate that Governor Cuomo is doing everything he can to block a real cannabis law being enacted. It was not long ago that he said he would veto previous bills if they passed the Senate. The governor wields incredible influence on what can even be voted on by the the Senators. His most current tactics, is similar to a ruse used before, he creates a distraction of a small compromise legislation, that he never follows through with. Here is the video from 2012 where he gave a speech on decriminalizing 15 grams or less in public view. This never came to fruition.

    Cuomo currently has the Commissioner of NYS Department of Health working on creating a system for hospitals to conduct “research” in providing cannabis to a limited group of patients. No state in the USA has ever successfully provided cannabis to patients in the way Cuomo is supposedly planning to. This is a distraction and will not work. In the following video you’ll see a Senator reveal that this hospital program is a farce.

    Despite the misleading title, in this video Cuomo is referring to the potential hospital program. He fully admits he doesn’t want the will of the citizens to manifest in relation to cannabis, but rather wants sole control over cannabis legalities.

  13. to assert that heroin addicts started with marijuana is to say that rapists started with masturbating.

  14. I beleave that it time for new york to wake up. I’ve been using cannabis for years for pain releaf and my own Doctor has no problem with me using it. even though its illegal and I’ve found that it works better than the hydrocodon, and other pain drugs I’m on to cope with pain. I’m very heathly other than the pain I’m in from an injury. why our gov,thinks it ok to put people on adicting type narcotic is better is beyond me.

  15. Stumphawk, why do people keep getting the government’s back? Why does people keep getting convicted of a crime than is not a crime? But we left murders’ off if they were “confused” about who or why they were killing people. Juries can murders off the hook, but they never find a pot head not-guilty. I used to think it was just a “government” problem, but what is with these assholes that keep convicting people that haven’t committed a crime??? As long as we keep asking for it, they will keep blow smoke and lies in our faces.

  16. @ NahYoChill. Yes, some do say that. Some say, “masturbating” will “cause sex addiction”, even though “sex addiction” doesn’t exist… Sociopaths, like many a politician, believe if their lies are loader than the truth they can switch out the truth for their bullshit. This is War on Drugs is literally an example of the kinds of problems showcased on After School Specials. They show kids how one lie turns into a another lie to protect the first, and another and another and before you know it, you most of your time lying and manipulating to continue the cover ups. Yet this is how our government runs the War on Drugs, like it is being run by people only 6-12 years old.

  17. Cuomo has in the past spoke very differently about cannabis and its recreational use. I’d keep both eyes on him at all times and watch what he does and not what he says.
    @Gary,… that 13% is a scary number when you think about it. That’s a big number of people who still drink the Anslinger kool-aid. And yes,.. they need not comment.
    Keep it up New York. The polls are the truth. Hang tuff.

  18. Will legal retail marijuana come to the East Coast any time soon? Never if the prohibitionists have their way, of course. And, they love keeping the pressure against legalizing on key politicians such as governors in New York and Maryland, where there is either a slim majority or 50/50 split.

    I noticed that CNBC is airing a pot special this week (Wed.) at 10 o’clock EST, I think, about the pot rush in Colorado. I’m hoping it’s all positive publicity. I’m hoping they show the good the money from cannabis is doing, how cannabis taxes prevented income tax or sales tax from having to be raised.

    I see these ads on tv for New York about setting up business there and getting tax breaks. Where are all the new jobs from companies taking advantage of the tax breaks and incentives? Where are they in Pennsylvania? Maryland? If they’re not paying taxes, where is the money coming from to subsidize tax breaks? It doesn’t look like it’s working out too well for the common people because I don’t see all these new good-paying jobs. I’m stuck in my thankless job, toiling away under the austerity that has hit both the private and public sector. There ain’t anything better out there. My friends and relatives aren’t jumping into better jobs or getting off unemployment or even government assistance because you can’t apply for jobs that aren’t there.

    So June 1, 2014 is when the next wave of retail cannabis legalization comes into being: Washington. Beat that drum along with the Colorado drum.

    Obama was in Mexico City recently, then nearly coincidently afterward El Chapo is apprehended, news said he controlled 25% of the usual kinds of illegal drugs coming in from Mexico, was the Mexican Chicago Boss. Looks like the NSA in Mexico was monitoring him, and then the arrest was orchestrated. Power vacuum turf wars? Now what? Pena-Nieto ought pick someone more sophisticated and less of a thug to absorb or take over for El Chapo, and most of all who will drastically reduce the amount of heroin they’re bringing into the US because the public is sick of it, Hoffman’s death brought that to light. You’d think better heroin treatment and maintenance programs to prevent new addicts and over time raise the average age of heroin addicts while keeping them alive and productive citizens would be the Trimbos style way to go, but DC think often doesn’t make any sense.

    Are the laws being drafted to allow MMJ for at least Dravet’s strains going forward? My guess is they’ll be stuck in committee for as long as the prohibitionists can stall, just to keep the camel’s nose out of the tent, to keep the foot out of the door.

    Once Washington is retailing, will the administration finally allow cannabusiness tax deductions and treat cannabusinesses on an equal footing with other legal businesses?

    It’s money you prohibitionists didn’t have before. If you had a plan to come up with that kind of money you would be implementing it, so you don’t have a better idea for making instant jobs and an instant revenue stream. So you Wall Street and government types alike are dangling out hopes of a housing recovery, yet are on tv talking about how disappointing the housing market has been, blaming it on all the snow and bad winter weather in many markets. Well, how about if there aren’t good jobs being made, you know, or people can’t get jobs and shit that they can’t afford a mortgage or can’t afford not to default on their mortgages?!

    Where are all the jobs? Not McJobs! Good Jobs! Jobs in the cannabis sector! Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Jobs Now!

  19. @TheOracle: “How about this for agitprop: Operation What a Pisser?!” I LOVE the way you think! I was just thinking of a letter writing campaign to companies that drug test, informing them of the facts and that drug testing is no longer getting them any public relation points–quite the opposite–coupled with a massive effort on our parts to avoid spending money in companies/stores/businesses that drug test (something I’ve been doing for years). And perhaps a letter writing campaign to companies that don’t drug test to congratulate them on their wise decision, back it up with some information just in case the piss-sniffers show up at their doors with the hard sell, with an assurance that they will always have our business if they continue to respect the rights of their workers.

    Now this piss-mailing idea is good too, with the emphasis on sending it to legislators. But what are the specific demands? Perhaps that the government stop allowing private businesses to deduct the cost of drug testing from their taxes, to remove the tax breaks for engaging in essentially free taxpayer-funded drug testing services, and/or eliminate the taxpayer-funded subsidization of worker’s comp insurance that goes on in some states?

    I think both could work, in conjunction with each other, and we need to get a lot of ideas like this on how to pressure private and public entities to abandon drug testing. As the Drug War dies, legalization becomes increasingly widespread, support for the Drug War’s failed policies flatlines, and more and more people are willing to talk about these issues outside of a “Just Say No” context, I think we can take advantage of the times to press the agenda of ending drug testing for once and for all.

    And yes, they’ve been expanding drug testing to tobacco. I do not think that will last, especially if we push this issue. The only reason they’ve been able to force drug testing as far as they have is because they’re “getting the bad guys/drug addicts”, and we do have a precedent for banning physical violations of employees by employers as a condition of employment/continued employment. It’s called the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, and if you know a damn thing about polygraphs you’ll probably have an idea why it’s illegal for your employer to force you to take a polygraph test. Because it has about the same validity as a drug test.

    Then there are the many states that are making it illegal for your employer to require your username and password for your private email and internet accounts to allow your employer to monitor your activity on your own time. Why should that be illegal while intimate physical search and seizure is not, especially since it’s for the same reason: so your employer can ensure you’re not doing anything they don’t personally like on your own personal time.

    If we can push this conversation and make the truth about the fraud of drug testing more widespread, the drug testing industry’s desperate attempt to stay relevant by expanding to tobacco won’t mean anything. Seriously, even the drug testing industry has seen which way the wind is blowing many years ago, which is why it expanded to things like tobacco, in order to create a precedent for testing for legal substances in an attempt to keep its industry in business.

    Anyway, I think if we can keep the pressure up to eliminate subsidies for drug testing, lob as many lawsuits against drug testing as possible in places that MJ is legal, raise awareness among the public about the truth of drug testing and make it clear to employers that drug testing is a detriment to their ability to turn a buck, we can overcome this BS.

  20. @Demonhype, I’m all for putting a stake through the heart of the drug-testing industry. It’s a gigantic farce to purport drug-testing identifies people who are likely to rob the company blind to support their addictions. That simply does not hold up. Employees who will Never test positive steal from companies all the time, and for various reasons: to get back at the company for something, because they don’t pay a living wage in the first place, just to make a buck, whatever. If mere drug-testing for nicotine and whatever were the answer, that would be the panacea, and there would be no need for surveillance, audits or stings.

    I agree, you have to hit them in the pocketbook, wean them off the government subsidies.

    I firmly believe that we need much better cleansing and flush drinks to flush out the marijuana metabolites and some chemicals that will adhere to the metabolites and flush them out faster, and not be detectable in the assay tests, dip-in-the piss tests and other piss tests. The marijuana community needs to get ahead of the piss testers on all fronts, subsidies removed and rendering the piss tests as useless because of the new flushes and drinks to protect cannabis consumers.

    Why would companies continue to pay for tests that are useless if I can buy a high-tech cleanse drink a day before having to take a piss test for a job and the piss test is negative for weed?

    The cannabis community needs to use some of its millions to go high-tech on cleanses, really high-tech. Where are our canna-geniuses?

  21. What if “DRUG TEST FOR TOBACCO” aimed to find out, not whether the person sometimes (legally) used tobacco, but whether they were one of those catastrophic (yet all too typical) pack-a-day puffaholics taking a break from work 20 times a day for 9 more hits (180 a day)(yes I too find that hard to believe but I HAVE SEEN THEM)– in which case admittedly the next move be not dismissal but a humane appropriate treatment (HAT).

    Technology has caught up with the $igarette morbidity problem and we have the solutions now!

    Such an individual should

    (a) entirely or partly SUBSTITUTE cannabis or other herbs for tobacco, and

    (b) eliminate forever the rolled-up H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide paper “$igarette” format, but try SUBSTITUTING as many as possible of the following:

    * E-Cigarettes (employer should explicitly tolerate indoor use); exchangeable fluid cartridges with and without nicotine or flavorings)

    * Plug-in vaporizer for sifted particulate dried herbs, any species

    * Vape Pens– now reportedly successfully duplicate for cannabis what e-cigs do for tobacco

    * Cheap Handmade Long-Flexible-Drawtube One-Hitter– can be used to vaporize 25-mg servings in screened crater: just hold heat source the correct distance BELOW the opening while sucking, so that air entering is VAPE TEMP 385F/197C or thereabouts for cannabis, fifty points lower for most tobaccos, under 300F for hops etc.

    * Double-Drawtube One-Hitter– once the big excuse for paper roll “joints” was that they promoted a “sharing” activity– all that talk about “puff, pass” etc. With a DD1H two partners can:

    (A) load in 25 mg, like for any regular single toke

    (B) hold lighter flame far enough below

    (C) each suck twice as slow

    (D) each take half as much air

    (E) likely to be twice as mild per partner, health protective

    (F) serve twice as many tokes if needed

    * The above options permit Moderate Occupational Herb Use (MOHU)– with so much dosage-restriction safety built in, any employer should see advantage in encouraging it considering recent Surgeon General Report estimated $289-BIL. yearly damage to US economy from “smoking”-related illness, including medical costs and lost productivity.

    * For DIY handcrafting guides search “Long-Drawtube One-Hitter”.

  22. PS After double-drawtube toke, shotguns can be done by covering the VapeCrater with a finger and forwarding air to somebody through the tube system.

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