New Yorkers Support Legalizing Marijuana As Budget Fix, Poll Finds
New Yorkers across party lines support legalizing marijuana, a new poll shows.
Overall, 62 percent of the state’s registered voters backed ending cannabis prohibition in the survey released on Monday.
The poll, which was commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project Foundation and the Drug Policy Alliance and conducted by Emerson College, found that legalizing marijuana was the only policy voters supported as a fiscal measure to help solve the state’s $4 billion budget deficit.
Fewer than one in five respondents said they backed increasing income taxes, raising sales taxes, cutting education or public service funds or spiking highway and bridge tolls to lower the deficit.
On the overall question of legalization, 71 percent of independents were on board, compared to 63 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of Republicans.
“The strong support for legal marijuana use challenges New York elected officials who continue to support ineffective, racially biased, and unjust enforcement of marijuana laws. This poll signals that New Yorkers favor using revenue from a legal marijuana market to address our budget deficit and lawmakers would be wise to heed their opinion,” Kassandra Frederique, New York State director for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a press release. “How New York decides to reform marijuana laws provides an opportunity to repair the significant harms prohibition causes in vulnerable communities across the state by centering racial and economic justice.”
A national Gallup poll released last month found that 64 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana, including majorities across party lines.
“This should be a wake-up call to lawmakers: New Yorkers want their state to take a sensible, humane approach to marijuana policy,” said Landon Dais, political director of MPP of New York. “New York should stop wasting resources punishing otherwise law-abiding residents for using a substance that is safer than alcohol. It’s time to take marijuana off of the criminal market, so we can create good jobs, build the economy, and fund essential services.”
The survey, conducted between November 16-18, included 600 registered voters and has a margin of error of +/- 3.9% in 19 of 20 cases.