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

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.

Scroll down to see how your governor did.

Gavin Newsrom

1. A

Kate Brown (D) Oregon

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

While NORML issued no A+ grades this year, the list of those receiving the highest grade is quite populated, showing that there is more support for cannabis legislation on behalf of our legislators than ever before.

Andrew Cuomo

2. B+

Andrew Cuomo (D) New York

Phil Scott (R) 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.

These actions put him on par with New York’s Andrew Cuomo, whose recent support of cannabis legalization is a total reversal of his previous statements on the issue.

Tony Evers v2

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

The Democrats monopolized the B grade with a list of governors that largely support medical cannabis, but are less actively involved in issuing legislative change for recreational usage.

John Carney

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.

Ron Desantis

5. C

Ron DeSantis (R) 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.

Geg Abbott

6. C-

Greg Abbott (R) Texas

Larry Hogan (R) Maryland

Jim Justice (R) West Virginia

Chris Sununu (R) New Hampshire

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

Charlie Baker

7. D+

Charlie Baker (R) Massachusetts

Eric Holcomb (R) Indiana

Brian Kemp (R) Georgia

Kevin Stitt (R) 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.

Roy Cooper v2

8. D

Matt Bevin (R) Kentucky

Doug Burgum (R) North Dakota

Roy Cooper (D) North Carolina

Mark Gordon (R) Wyoming

Asa Hutchinson (R) Arkansas

Bill Lee (R) Tennessee

Henry McMaster (R) South Carolina

Kim Reynolds (R) Iowa

The sole low-ranking Democrat, North Carolina’s Roy Cooper has stated that he wishes to "move slowly" on the issue.

Phil Bryant

9. D-

Phil Bryant (R) Mississippi

Doug Ducey (R) Arizona

Gary Herbert (R) Utah

The Republicans monopolized the two lowest grades with a list of governors who have said they're in opposition to cannabis reform.

Kristi Noem

10. F

Mike DeWine (R) Ohio

Brad Little (R) Idaho

Kristi Noem (R) South Dakota

Pete Ricketts (R) Nebraska

The lowest marks were issued to those who take a strong stance against cannabis, including Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, who scored a failing grade for the second time since the last report in 2016.

11. N/A

Kay Ivey (R) Alabama

Mike Dunleavy (R) Alaska

Janet Mills (D) Maine

Mike Parson (R) Missouri

Mike Dunleavy (R) Alaska

NORML released four incomplete grades for Governors Parson, Mills, Ivey and Dunleavy, who’ve stayed relatively quiet on the subject of cannabis during their terms.


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