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Is Your Governor An 'A' Student On Cannabis Reform, Or A Complete Failure?

It's report card day for all 50 of America's state governors. Earlier this morning, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has released grades for the country's top state legislators.

Generally speaking, the report is positive. The majority of governors (28) received a passing grade of C- or higher (17 Democrats and 11 Republicans). Over all, 94 percent of Democratic governors received passing marks. But only 34 percent of Republicans passed.

It's no surprise that all the F grades belong to Republicans, who generally lag behind Democrats on the issue. Yes, there are exceptions like Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who received a B from NORML. But this is still the party that voted against including medical marijuana in its 2016 platform.

The most notable failing grade belongs to Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Donald Trump's running mate. Which offers even more reason to believe that while The Donald is relatively progressive on the issue, his running mate would likely derail reform if the 2016 Republican ticket won the general election.

Scroll down to see how yours did.

1. A+

871px Peter Shumlin 2012

Peter Shumlin (D) Vermont

The only top mark went to Governor Shumlin, who recently tried (and unfortunately failed) to make Vermont the first state to legalize recreational marijuana use through the legislature instead of ballot initiatives. That honor is now up for grabs.

2. A

Kate Brown in September 2015

Kate Brown (D) Oregon

It's not surprising to see Oregon Governor Kate Brown ranked high in the report, but it is unexpected that she doesn't share the top spot with other governors of states that have legalized marijuana. The next one comes much further down the list.

3. B+

756px Governor Tom Wolf official portrait 2015

Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania

Dan Malloy (D) Connecticut

Jack Markell (D) Delaware

Gina Raimondo (D) Rhode Island

Tom Wolf (D) Pennsylvania

The Democrats continued their domination of the report's top marks by monopolizing the B+ grades.

4. B

630px Rick Snyder

Rick Snyder, Michigan

David Ige (D) Hawaii

Rick Snyder (R) Michigan 

The B's include the first Republican governor in the report: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who is an outspoken supporter of medical marijuana.

5. B-

643px Governor John Kasich

John Kasich, Ohio

Matt Bevin (R) Kentucky

Steve Bullock (D) Montana

John Bel Edwards (D) Louisiana

John Hickenlooper (D) Colorado

Larry Hogan (R) Maryland

John Kasich (R) Ohio

Jay Inslee (D) Washington

Terry McAuliffe (D) Virginia 

Jay Nixon (D) Missouri

Bruce Rauner (R) Illinois

Brian Sandoval (R) Nevada

The lower B's were a fairly even split between Republicans and Democrats. The most surprising name on the list is outspoken prohibitionist John Kasich of Ohio.

6. C

Jack Dalrymple 2013

Jack Dalrymple, North Dakota

Jerry Brown, California

Jack Dalrymple (R) North Dakota

Mark Dayton (D) Minnesota

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple lands in the middle-C range due to his open mind about marijuana reform. Meanwhile, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton isn't as open minded, but he has expressed interest in working with cannabis advocates to improve access to medical marijuana.

7. C-

729px Andrew Cuomo by Pat Arnow cropped

Andrew Cumo, New York

Sam Brownback (R) Kansas

Andrew Cumo (D) New York

Nikki Haley (R) South Carolina

Bill Haslam (R) Tennessee

Maggie Hassan (D) New Hampshire

Gary Herbert (R) Utah

The lower C-grade is a hodgepodge of states from almost every American region. 

8. D+

630px Chrisgov

Chris Christie, New Jersey

Chris Christie (R) New Jersey

Paul LePage (R) Maine

Pat McRory (R) North Carolina

The most surprising grades in the report belong to LePage and Christie, who passed despite being outspoken prohibitionists. LePage has been a particularly vocal opponent of Maine's ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana.

9. D

600px Edmund G Brown Jr

Greg Abbott (R) Texas

Robert Bentley (R) Alabama

Terry Brandstad (R) Iowa

Phil Bryant (R) Mississippi

Dennis Daugaard (R) South Dakota

Nathan Deal (R) Georgia

Mary Fallin (R) Oklahoma

Rick Scott (R) Florida

Scott Walker (R) Wisconsin

There are only Republican governors on the list from here on down the grade scale. 

10. D- 

Matt Mead

Matt Mead (R) Wyoming

Governor Mead won brownie points for not being totally opposed to marijuana reform (but pretty darn close). 

11. F

Charlie Baker official portrait

Charlie Baker, Massachusetts

Charlie Baker (R) Massachusetts

Doug Ducey (R) Arizona

Asa Hutchinson (R) Arkansas

Susana Martinez (R) New Mexico

Butch Otter (R) Idaho

Mike Pence (R), Indiana

Pete Ricketts (R) Nebraska

Republicans swept the lowest grade in the report. The most notable names are Baker of Massachusetts and Ducey of Arizona, who represent states that will vote on legalizing recreational marijuana use this fall. Hopefully their views don't reflect public opinion.

12. N/A

Earl Ray Tomblin (D) West Virginia

Bill Walker (I) Alaska

NORML released two incomplete grades for Governors Tomblin and Walker, who haven't said much about cannabis during their terms.


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