New York, NY- Broader legalization of marijuana has been gaining steam for some years but really picked up the pace after at the beginning of 2014. Just days after the first sales of legal weed began in Colorado; New York lawmakers decided it was time for the state to legalize medical marijuana. Now, a new poll shows the majority of New York residents support medical marijuana.
A Quinnipiac poll released Monday, showed 88 percent of New Yorkers approve of marijuana for medical use, while a smaller percentage, 57 percent, say it should be legal for recreational use.
The majority of respondents who approve of recreational marijuana were in the 18 to 29 demographic; with Republicans and people over age 65 overwhelmingly disapprove of recreational marijuana.
Fifty-two percent of those questioned did not think marijuana was gateway drug, while 41 percent did. Forty-five percent believe marijuana is equally as dangerous as alcohol with 36 percent saying it was less dangerous. However, 63 percent of respondents said they would not feel comfortable riding with a high driver.
“Medical marijuana is a no-brainer for New York State voters, and they also would follow Colorado in legalizing marijuana for fun,” Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement, according to the Huffington Post.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State address introduced a pilot program which will allow 20 hospitals throughout the state to prescribed medical marijuana. Some residents in the state would like to skip the pilot program and start with full legalization, a poll from Sienna College last month showed that 49 percent of New Yorkers want to skip the pilot program. But the chances of New York or any state for that matter approving of recreational marijuana before medical marijuana is nil.
A majority of the respondents said recreational pot was bad for the Colorado’s image, while a little over 30 percent says it didn’t affect the state’s image.
Even though pot is not legal in New York State, plenty of people will be arrested for DUI-marijuana and have to face the consequences.
Even if a person can legally buy medical marijuana in the state, they still face serious charges if they are caught driving high. The first offense is a misdemeanor with a penalty of least $500, possible imprisonment and revocation of driver’s license for at least six months. A second DUI offense, whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or prescription drugs is a felony and the offender will likely find themselves behind bars and will lose their driving privileges for 18 months or longer.
Luckily, for DUI-marijuana offenders in the New York, in order to prosecute, the state must prove you were impaired by the drug at the time of your arrest. Simply having THC—the intoxicating ingredient in pot—in your blood stream is not enough.
A DUI attorney is an asset to any case and will help you negotiate a plea bargain or build an effective defense that will allow you to avoid conviction.