According to a Sienna College poll, 56 percent of New York voters support legalizing cannabis for adult use, with 40 percent opposed and 4 percent unsure. The reforms were supported by 66 percent of Democrats, 57 percent of Independents, and 41 percent of Republicans.
The results represent a 12 percent difference from a November poll, commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project of New York and the Drug Policy Alliance and conducted by Emerson College, which found 68 percent support for recreational cannabis legalization, including a majority – 53 percent – of Republicans.
In the Sienna poll, 58 percent of men and 54 percent of women supported legalization, along with 76 percent of self-identified liberals, 56 percent moderates, and just 37 percent of conservatives.
The reforms were popular throughout the state’s regions – 60 percent of New York City residents supported legalization, along with 55 percent of suburban residents, and 52 percent of upstate residents; although that region is not defined by the pollsters. Adult cannabis use legalization was also supported by 72 percent of Latinos, 61 percent of black people, and 54 percent of white people.
As with the vast majority of legalization polls, the younger the respondent the more likely they are to support the reforms. Among respondents aged 18-34, 76 percent supported cannabis for recreational use, along with 57 percent of respondents aged 35-54. Just 46 percent of respondents 55-and-older supported legalization.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for a recreational feasibility study during his State of the State address last month. One of his potential Republican challengers, former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra has pitched legalization as a way to address the state’s infrastructure problems. The Sienna poll found a 53 percent favorable rating for Cuomo; while 84 percent indicated they didn’t know who Giambra was.