Poll: Most New Yorkers support recreational cannabis consumption

The vast majority of New York's cannabis legalization supporters were based upstate and in the suburbs


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

A new poll from Siena College indicates that recreational cannabis use in New York is strongly supported by the state’s residents.

Back in the 1970s, possession of CBD and/or cannabis in the State of New York was decriminalized. Then, in 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act into law, following a 117-3 vote by the Assembly and a 49-10 vote by the Senate.

Now, as New York ponders over the idea of legalizing weed for recreational purposes, the general public is most certainly warming up to the prospect of adult use. Lawmakers are currently making a last-minute attempt to legalize the plant, what with the legislative session approaching its end during the middle of this week.

Over half of New Yorkers want to legalize adult-use cannabis

The poll recently carried out and published by Siena College, which sits in the quaint hamlet of Loudonville, demonstrates strong support from residents living in the state’s various regions. In order to conduct the poll, 812 registered statewide voters answered survey questions put together by a team of students. Votes were counted between June 2 and June 6 with a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.

Students from the college discovered that while 40 percent of state voters oppose legalization, 55 percent are supportive of complete cannabis legalization in New York. Seventy-five percent of voters under the age of 35 support the legalization of cannabis, as do 77 percent of liberals.

While support for legal weed in New York is high, opposition was felt from the older generation, with 54 percent of voters aged 55 and above unsupportive of legalization. An additional 53 percent of Republican voters don’t agree with the idea of the government enacting legalization across the Democratic-leaning state.

The vast majority of supporters were based upstate and in the suburbs, in spite of the fact that many of the counties in those areas dismissed legal weed. Examples of New York counties that have rejected proposals to sell weed within their borders include Long Island’s Nassau County and Suffolk County.

Support for cannabis legalization in New York was felt from 52 percent of individuals living in the city. Upstaters and suburban residents showed stronger levels of support, with 55 percent of suburban voters keen to legalize cannabis and 59 percent of upstaters. The State Legislature is still trying to get adequate votes for cannabis legalization in New York.