Items tagged with 'marijuana'

Siena poll: continued majority support for medical marijuana legalization, not for recreational pot

medical marijuana signSome follow-up to the recent Q Poll that reported a majority of New Yorkers -- 57-39 -- supported legalizing recreational marijuana use: A Siena poll out today reports respondents oppose recreational legalization 53-43.

The results on recreational pot legalization might not be as far apart as they seem. The Q Poll reported a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points, and the Siena poll 3.5 points. And differences in the makeup of the samples could lead to different results. They also asked slightly different questions:

Q Poll: "Do you support or oppose allowing adults in New York State to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use?"

Siena: "Looking beyond the issue of medical marijuana, two states - Colorado and Washington - have legalized and regulated marijuana for recreational use. Do you support or oppose passing a similar law in New York to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational use?"

As with that Q poll, the Siena poll also reports large majority support for at least some sort of medical marijuana program in the state. This isn't surprising -- polls have reported majorities in favor of medical marijuana for the last few years. (See 2010.)

Related: There was an interesting article in NYT today about the fact that it's apparently unclear how many votes currently constitute a majority in the state Senate (because of vacancies and the current three-coalition makeup of the body) -- and how that could have an effect on potential votes about legalizing medical marijuana.

More bits from the Siena poll...

+ Respondents had a more or less three-bears split on the Common Core standards: too demanding, not demanding enough, just about right.

+ Respondents prefer Andrew Cuomo over "someone else", 54-37.

+ 73 percent of respondents supported allowing local municipalities to set their own minimum wage at rate higher than the state's.

+ On allowing fracking: oppose - 43 percent | support - 38 percent.

photo: Flickr user Caveman 92223

Q Poll: Majority of New Yorkers support medical marijuana and recreational pot legalization

q poll ny marijuana 2014-02 small

Don't squint, man, here's a large-format version. Wait, what if our world is just a large-format interactive illustration on the computer of some higher being? Crazy. ... Hey, you wanna get some pizza...

A few interesting things about the Q Poll out this week that looked at where New Yorkers stand on marijuana legalization:

+ There's across the board support for medical marijuana. The Q Poll reports that 88 percent of respondents said they were in favor of allowing marijuana use for medical purposes. And not a single demographic group registered support below 82 percent.

That a majority support medical marijuana isn't surprising -- New Yorkers have been trending that way for years -- but the strength and breadth of the support is notable.

+ A majority of the Q Poll respondents -- 57 percent -- said they support allowing "small amounts of marijuana for personal use." The only groups of respondents in which a majority opposed: Republicans (55-39 against) and people age 65+ (57-38 against).

+ There appears to be gradient of opinion on pot questions, from young to old. Not that this is really all that surprising, but the younger the person in the Q Poll, the more likely they were to support relaxing rules and attitudes about pot. Example: 83 percent of respondents 18-29 said they supported allowing small amounts of marijuana use for person use. While at the other end of the age spectrum, 65+, just 38 percent said they support legalization.

This age gradient is depicted in the graph above, which includes the numbers from a handful of the survey's questions. (Don't squint -- here's the large format version.)

It'll be interesting to see how results such as this latest Q Poll will play out at the state Capitol. There's been some push for medical marijuana in the legislature over the last few years, and there's now even a bill to legalize and tax pot in a system similar to the one for alcohol.

And Andrew Cuomo? On one hand, medical marijuana -- and even recreational pot legalization -- is growing in popularity. On the other hand, Cuomo probably wants to stick to the moderate Democrat brand he's developed in an attempt to also appeal to moderate Republicans (both here and, you know, other parts of the nation). Cuomo has proposed a limited trial program for medical marijuana, though advocates have criticized it for being too timid. And his admin has called recreational legalization a "non-starter." Is there a point at which public support shifts his position on the issue?

Poll details: "From February 6 - 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,488 New York State voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones."

Discussing "The End of Cannabis Prohibition," at Saint Rose

a new leaf book with dropshadowCould be interesting in light of recent news both here in New York and elsewhere: Journalists Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian -- the authors of A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition -- will be at Saint Rose for a reading and discussion February 6.

Book blurbage:

In the first book to explore the new landscape of cannabis in the United States, investigative journalists Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian present a deeply researched, insightful story of how recent developments tie into cannabis's complex history and thorny politics. Reporting from nearly every state with a medical cannabis law, Martin and Rashidian enliven their book with in-depth interviews with patients, growers, doctors, entrepreneurs, politicians, activists, and regulators. They present an expert analysis of how recent milestones toward legalization will affect the war on drugs both domestically and internationally. The result is an unprecedented and lucid account of how legalization is manifesting itself in the lives of millions.

The Saint Rose event is at the Center for Communications and Interactive Media (996 Madison Ave) on February 6 at 7:30 pm (a Thursday). It's free and open to the public. The event is part of the Frequency North series.

Oh, and by the way: Alyson Martin is a Saint Rose alumna, from Feura Bush (we hear).

Also coming up in the Frequency North series: Jade Sylvan on January 30, 7:30 pm, at the Events and Athletics Center (420 Western Ave) She's the author of Kissing Oscar Wilde, "a star-crossed novelized memoir about love, death, and identity."

NYCLU: New York has racial disparity in pot arrests

pot budBlack New Yorkers are 4.5 times more likely than white New Yorkers to be arrested for marijuana possession, according to a New York Civil Liberties Union report out this week looking at arrest data. The NYCLU notes this racial disparity exists in arrests even though surveys indicate whites in New York State use pot at higher rates than blacks.

Also out this week, a national report by the ACLU in which New York is tagged as having the highest marijuana arrest rate of any state (though DC's is even higher).

Said NYCLU exec director Donna Lieberman in a press release:

"New Yorkers should be embarrassed that our state leads the nation in marijuana arrests ... The crackdown on low-level marijuana possession needlessly hurts individuals and families - subjecting them to all sorts of collateral consequences like the loss of student financial aid and job opportunities. Governor Cuomo has pledged to clarify the state's marijuana laws to bring justice and common sense to drug enforcement in our state. We urge him to keep that promise."

Andrew Cuomo has proposed making the penalty for public possession of small amounts of pot, currently a misdemeanor, the same as private possession (a citation). He's said leveling the penalties is "about creating fairness and consistency in our laws since there is a blatant inconsistency in the way we deal with small amounts of marijuana possession."

New York State's high rate of pot arrests is driven in large part by New York City, where the issue is in turn driven in large part by the city's "stop and frisk" policies. For example, in New York County (Manhattan), blacks are more than 9 times as likely as whites to get arrested for pot possession, according to the NYCLU's calculations.

But there's a disparity in the Capital Region, too. Here are the "times more likely" figures from the NYCLU for the Cap Region core:

Albany County: 2.44
Rensselaer: 4.75
Saratoga: 4.20
Schenectady: 3.68

Earlier elsewhere:
+ Push for pot, now with lobbying muscle
+ Capital New York: Albany's unlikely marijuana legalization champion sees interest, but no movement yet

photo: Wikipedia user HighinBC (cc)

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