State Governments Warming To Cannabis Legalization

Wednesday saw the release of the annual US Governors Scorecard, produced by NORML (National Organization Reform of Marijuana Laws.

As NORML describes it, “This extensive database assigns a letter grade ‘A’ through ‘F’ to states’ governors based upon their comments and voting records specific to matters of marijuana policy.”

As the old saying goes, you don’t know the players if you don’t have a scorecard. So let’s break down where our elected leaders stand on the devil’s lettuce. (Oregon Governor Kate Brown received an ‘A.’)

NORML determined:

• 27 US governors received a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher (22 Democrats, 5 Republicans)

• Of these, nine US governors — all Democrats — received an ‘A’ grade; this marks a significant increase since 2018, when only two governors received ‘A’ grades

• Ten governors received a ‘B’ grade (9 Democrats, 1 Republican)

• Eight governors received a ‘C’ grade (4 Republicans, 4 Democrats)

• Fifteen governors — all Republicans — received a ‘D’ grade

• Four governors — all Republicans — received a ‘F’ grade

• Four governors received no grade because of insufficient data

• Of the 23 Republican governors receiving a letter grade, only five (21 percent) received a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher

• Of the 23 Democratic governors receiving a letter grade, all of them (100 percent) received a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher

• Among the 20 governors taking office for the first time in 2019, six (30 percent) received an ‘A’ grade. All are Democrats.

A Gallup poll taken in October 2018 showed a 66 percent support for cannabis legalization, including majorities of “self-identified Democrats, Republicans and Independents.”

As NORML notes, a program of regulated cannabis remains very much a partisan issue, with a whopping zero percent of Republican governors on record of support, while nearly half of the Democratic counterparts are.

Josh Taylor is a well-known and successful entrepreneur in the legal cannabis space, producing B2B and B2C cannabis events, "Backstage Budtending" and upscale concierge services through his companies and His weekly syndicated newspaper column and features about cannabis ran for five years until March 2020.

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