Poll Shows 63% Of New York Residents Support Legalizing Marijuana

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Support for legalized marijuana is at an all-time high in New York, according to a new poll.

A whopping 63% of New York voters support allowing adults to possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use, a Quinnipiac University poll revealed Thursday. Only 32% of voters opposed legalizing weed.

“The 63% support for legalizing so-called recreational marijuana is a high-water mark in New York,” said Quinnipiac poll assistant director Peter Brown. The poll’s previous high for support of legalized marijuana was 57% in February 2014.

The poll also found most voters believe legalized weed will have little impact on the opioid crisis. Only 21% of voters believe legalized marijuana will lead to more opioid use, while 20% said it will reduce opioid use, and 54% said it will not make a difference.

“Voters don’t see marijuana as a gateway to stronger drugs,” Brown said.

The poll also found 62% of voters believe a black person using marijuana is more likely to be arrested than a white person.

Marijuana has emerged as a key issue in the race for governor, with actress and Democratic candidate Cynthia Nixon calling for its legalization. Nixon, who is challenging Gov. Cuomo for the party nomination, argued legalized pot will bring in tax revenue and help address what she called the mass incarceration of minorities.

Cuomo, who has previously opposed the idea of legalizing marijuana, tasked the state Health Department in January to study the issue.

Despite the strong support for legalized marijuana, the poll found most voters don’t view it as a critical issue in determining whether to support a candidate: 75% said they could support a candidate who did not share their views on marijuana.

Quinnipiac’s poll also revealed that 63% of voters support “allowing doctors to legally prescribe lethal drugs to help terminally ill patients end their own lives.” Only 29% oppose physician-assisted suicide.

Opposition to assisted suicide was especially strong among religious voters, however, with 61% of those who attend weekly religious services opposing it.

Legislation that would allow physician-assisted suicide in New York remains stalled in the Legislature.

Quinnipiac also found 72% of voters describe their financial situation as “excellent” or “good.”