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Is Your Governor Flunking On Cannabis Reform? Check Their Report Card

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The report cards are in for America’s 50 state governors. This week, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) issued letter grades for each of the country’s top legislators.

On the whole, the reports are positive, with the majority of governors (26) receiving a passing grade of C- or above (26 Democrats and 6 Republicans). Overall, 91 percent of Democratic governors received passing marks, while only 21 percent of Republicans made the grade. 

This divide isn’t necessarily surprising, as Democrats have traditionally taken the lead on the cannabis issue, but even among their ranks, there has been some progress. Looking back on NORML’s 2016 report, there were just two governors in the A range — this year, there’s nine. 

Similarly, at the bottom, seven Republicans received F grades in 2016, but that number has since dwindled to four, showing that while it is still a divisive issue among the two parties, it is certainly moving in the right direction. 

Jay Inslee (D) Washington

Ned Lamont (D) Connecticut

Phil Murphy (D) New Jersey

Gavin Newsom (D) California

Jared Polis (D) Colorado

J.B. Pritzker (D) Illinois

Gretchen Whitmer (D) Michigan

Tim Walz (D) Minnesota

Phil Scott ® Vermont

The only Republican to receive a mark above the C range is Vermont governor Phil Scott, who decriminalized personal possession and home cultivation in his state, despite having mixed feelings” about it.

3. B

Steve Bullock (D) Montana

John Bel Edwards (D) Louisiana

Tony Evers (D) Wisconsin

Michelle Lujan-Grisham (D) New Mexico

Ralph Northam (D) Virginia

Gina Raimondo (D) Rhode Island

Steve Sisolak (D) Nevada

Tom Wolf (D) Pennsylvania

4. C+

John Carney (D) Delaware

Laura Kelly (D) Kansas

Delaware’s John Carney has enacted some legislation to provide access to medical marijuana to patients, but has gone on record stating that he is not in favor of legalization. Laura Kelly of Kansas has stated her support for legalizing medical marijuana despite not taking any action as of yet.

5. C

Ron DeSantis ® Florida

While not personally in support of medical marijuana, Florida’s Ron DeSantis said that he is willing to concede to his constituents and enact the medical marijuana program they voted for. 

6. C-

Greg Abbott ® Texas

Larry Hogan ® Maryland

Jim Justice ® West Virginia

Chris Sununu ® New Hampshire

The lower C grades were issued to Republicans who have shown at least some support for cannabis legislation.

7. D+

Charlie Baker ® Massachusetts

Eric Holcomb ® Indiana

Brian Kemp ® Georgia

Kevin Stitt ® Oklahoma

Both Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts are vocally opposed to cannabis legislation, but are enacting the pro-cannabis legislation voted into law in their respective states.

Governors Brian Kemp and Eric Holcomb have voiced some support for CBD and other non-intoxicating cannabinoids.

8. D

Matt Bevin ® Kentucky

Doug Burgum ® North Dakota

Roy Cooper (D) North Carolina

Mark Gordon ® Wyoming

Asa Hutchinson ® Arkansas

Bill Lee ® Tennessee

Henry McMaster ® South Carolina

Kim Reynolds ® Iowa

9. D-

Phil Bryant ® Mississippi

Doug Ducey ® Arizona

Gary Herbert ® Utah

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