ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - A poll of New Yorkers show a strong majority favor legalizing recreational marijuana in the state - but many people also believe legalization will bring problems.
The poll by Siena Research Institute found a split of 56 percent in favor, 36 percent against on legalization. 53 percent of those polled also thought legalization will lead to more use and abuse of the drug among young people, and 47 percent believed legal marijuana will lead to workplace problems.
That said, marijuana is viewed as more benign than many other things.
“While opioid abuse is seen as the most serious public health issue, concerns over vaping have risen dramatically and now approach a level similar to opioids,” said Siena College Research Institute Director Don Levy.
“Marijuana is seen as the least serious from a list that also includes obesity, tobacco and alcohol.”
The issues of marijuana use and vaping are somewhat joined, since vaping illnesses and deaths have been reported among people who vape THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
Governor Cuomo acknowledged the apparent connection at a meeting of governors and health officials from several northeast states, called to coordinate efforts when it comes to vaping and also legalized marijuana.
“There is a desire to do this (legalize marijuana). I believe the people of this state and our surrounding states have a desire to do it," said Cuomo.
"But the old expression the devil is in the details, how you do this makes all the difference. "
“It can be a positive if done right, it can be a negative if it is not done correctly.”
Cuomo was initially opposed to legalizing recreational marijuana, but now supports it.