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NORML Releases 2020 Gubernatorial Scorecard

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Nearly Two-Thirds of US Governors Receive a Passing Grade on Cannabis Policy

NORML has released its 2020 Gubernatorial Scorecard. This extensive database assigns a letter grade ‘A’ through ‘F’ to states’ governors based upon their comments and voting records in 2019 specific to matters of cannabis policy.

“Most legislative activity specific to [cannabis] policy takes place at the state level and America’s governors are our nation’s most powerful state-elected officials,” explained NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. “These 50 lawmakers play a key role in whether or not [cannabis] policy reform advances at the state level so it is vitally important that reformers are aware of where they stand on the issue.”


  • Thirty-two US governors received a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher (22 Democrats, 10 Republicans); last year, only 27 Governors received a grade of ‘C’ or higher.
  • Of these, nine US governors — all Democrats — received an ‘A’ grade.
  • Twelve governors received a ‘B’ grade (11 Democrats, 1 Republican)
  • Eleven governors received a ‘C’ grade (9 Republicans, 2 Democrats)
  • Ten governors — nine Republicans and one Democrat — received a ‘D’ grade
  • Eight governors — all Republicans — received a ‘F’ grade
  • Among Democratic Governors, 39 percent received an ‘A.’ Ninety-six percent of Democratic Governors received a grade of ‘C’ or higher.
  • Among Republican Governors, only 37 percent received a grade of a ‘C’ or higher. Thirty percent received a failing grade.


Political support among US governors for cannabis policy reform continues to grow. However, this support is more partisan than ever before. No Republicans are on record in support of adult-use legalization and few are in favor of regulating medical cannabis access. By contrast, a large percentage of Democrats are supportive of both issues. This partisan divide is not similarly reflected among the general public.

Said NORML’s Altieri: “According to national polling data compiled by Gallup in October 2019, 66 percent of the public — including majorities of self-identified Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — favor adult-use legalization. Bipartisan support among the public for medical [cannabis] legalization is even stronger. Until this public support is similarly reflected among lawmakers, many cannabis-specific legislative reforms – in particular adult-use legalization proposals – will continue to meet resistance at the state level. This resistance is most pronounced in jurisdictions where political leadership is dominated by Republicans.”

Read the 2020 Scorecard online here.


NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of cannabis by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high-quality cannabis that is safe, convenient, and affordable.

Find out more at and read our factsheets on the most common misconceptions and myths regarding reform efforts around the country at


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