The people of New York want marijuana to be legalized. According to a new Quinnipiac poll, 57 percent of New York voters support allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Only 39 percent oppose legalizing marijuana possession.
Young voters in New York overwhelmingly back legalization by the incredible margin of 83 percent to 14 percent. The only age group which doesn’t support legalization is senior citizens who oppose it 39-57.
There is similarly a huge generational divide when it comes to the perceived risk of marijuana. In general 13 percent of New York voters see marijuana as more dangerous that alcohol, 36 percent think it is safer and 45 believe they are equal. Among voters under the age of 30, though, 70 percent see marijuana as less dangerous than alcohol and just 5 percent think it is is more dangerous. A remaining 23 percent saying they are equally dangerous. On the other hand 19 percent of seniors think marijuana is more dangerous, 21 percent believe it is less dangerous, and 49 percent believe they are equal.
The poll also found 88 percent of voters wanted medical marijuana to be approved. Medical marijuana has over 80 percent support among all partisan groups and generations. Given popular sentiment it is absurd the state legislature has not moved on the issue yet.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy