Poll shows New Yorkers favor approving marijuana for medical use
Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 12:13 pm

ALBANY -- Despite misgivings by some North Country representatives, a recent Siena College poll shows a majority of New Yorkers support medical marijuana legislation.

The poll found that 55 percent of respondents believe the state should pass the Compassionate Care Act, rather than rely on recent executive action taken by Governor Cuomo.

The New York Cannabis Alliance views Governor Cuomo’s executive order to begin an interim medical marijuana program as a positive one, but advocates for legislative action to create a suitable and workable program.

“This poll shows that the support for a new approach on cannabis policies in New York has no signs of going away,” said Adam Scavone, co-founder and director of the NY Cannabis Alliance.

“The Governor's recent commitments and executive actions were a good step, but we need legislation to create a suitable program that we know will work.”

Assemblyman Marc Butler, who represents Madrid, Norfolk, Stockholm, Parishville, Pierrepont, Clare, Colton, Clifton, and Fine, has indicated that he might be willing to consider legalizing medical marijuana.

Assemblywoman Addie Russell also indicated that she might consider support for medical marijuana laws.

Twenty states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont, have passed legislation to allow medical marijuana, according to the alliance.

"A majority of New Yorkers would prefer companies like ours dispensing medical grade cannabis to patients, operating transparently within the bounds of the law and contributing to the community, than the thriving black market," said Derek Peterson, CEO of Terra Tech Corp, a company hoping to enter the medical marijuana market.

"The Governor’s current proposal may not allow for that."

Internationally, there has been an “explosion” of research into the body’s endocannabinoid system and the health benefits of cannabinoids, including THC, according to the alliance.

The market for medical marijuana is estimated to be $1.44 billion, and to outpace the growth of the smart phone industry, the alliance said.

“New York would do well to catch up to market and research leaders at home and around the world, and capitalize on the opportunities available in this new market,” says Scavone.

For more on North Country representative reactions to medical marijuana, see our earlier story.

For more information visit www.nycannabisalliance.org/.