Most NYers Oppose Giving First Dispensary Licenses To Those With Pot Convictions

Most NYers Oppose Giving First Dispensary Licenses To Those With Pot Convictions
High Times

New York unveiled a pioneering new plan earlier this month as it prepares to launch its new adult-use cannabis program later this year, with the first round of retail licenses reserved for individuals previously convicted of a pot-related charge, or who have relatives with a cannabis conviction. But while many social justice advocates applauded the measure, a majority of the state’s voters are not on board. A poll out this week from Siena College found that 54 percent of voters in the Empire State “oppose ensuring that early licenses for marijuana retail stores go to those previously convicted of marijuana-related crimes, or their family members.” Only 33 percent are in favor of the proposal. The opposition is most pronounced among New York Republicans, 72 percent of whom told the pollsters that they are against the idea. Only 19 percent of Republicans said they back it. Among Democrats, the proposal produced a near-even split: 45 percent said they support the idea, while 43 percent oppose. A majority of New York state independents, 55 percent, also said they are against the proposal. “Giving first dibs on marijuana licenses to those previously convicted divides Democrats and New York City voters. Strong majorities of Republicans, independents, voters outside New York City, and white voters give it a thumbs down,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in the survey’s analysis. “Latino voters support it by 12 points and Black voters by 11 points.” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, announced the “the first-in-the-nation Seeding Opportunity Initiative” earlier this month, which her office said would ensure “an early investment into communities most impacted by the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis prohibition.” Under the initiative, the first 100-200 licenses for adult-use pot dispensaries would be awarded to either an individual previously convicted of a weed-related offense, or…

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