A Conservative Strategy on Marijuana

Advocates of legalizing medicinal marijuana in New York are now pinning their hopes on, of all people, conservatives. Sign Up

Advocates of legalizing medicinal marijuana in New York are now pinning their hopes on, of all people, conservatives.

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Here's a pro-medicinal marijuana ad that appeared in a local Brooklyn paper this week, targeting Conservative-Republican state Senator Marty Golden, and featuring Joel Peacock, a member of the state’s Conservative Party.

The ad says that Peacock suffers from “chronic, severe pain“ from a 2001 car accident and that medicinal marijuana offers him effective and cheap relief.

The ad targeting Golden is one of eight ads aimed at Republican state Senators across New York, which also feature polling information that supporters say proves the bill is more popular among voters than lawmakers think.

The other state senators are Carl Marcellino Kemp Hannon, Dean Skelos, all from Long Island, Frank Padavan and Serph Maltese of Queens, Thomas Morahan of Rockland County and Dale Volker from upstate.

“The only house that hasn’t acted on the bill and hasn’t officially said they support it is the Senate,” said Vincent Marrone, a spokesman for the group behind the ads, the Marijuana Policy Project. “The Assembly already passed it. The governor supports it.”

The bill passed the Assembly on June 13.

“Senator Bruno publicly says he support it,” he added. “He’s a cancer survivor, so he understands the importance of this bill to people that are living in pain.”

It’s a significant departure from the days, not so long ago, when this issue was chiefly the territory of single-issue candidates running on the Marijuana Reform Party line.

“I don’t think one-issue candidates — history will probably show you, I think pretty convincingly , they’re not successful. Those campaigns are run usually to elevate that issue, to get some press attention to it. But you’re not going to win a campaign on one issue.”

Interestingly, in a poll conducted by the D.C.-based Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of 500 Conservative Party voters in New York, 55 percent said they support the legalization of medicinal marijuana.

The pollsters also asked the question of registered voters in each of the eight targeted several state Senate districts.

In Marcellino’s district, 76 percent of voters say they support the effort.
In Hannon’s, that number is 70 percent.
In Maltese’s district, 63 percent.
In Padavan’s Golden's district, 73 percent.

In Golden’s Morahan's district, 69 percent.
In Volker’s district, 61 percent.

A Conservative Strategy on Marijuana