The U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C.

Ron Cogswell

NORML Scorecard Ranks Federal Lawmakers on Cannabis Policy

NORML has released its 2016 Congressional Scorecard, which grades lawmakers on their marijuana policy based on voting records and their public comments on the issue. Just 22 members from both houses received ‘A’ grades, and Democrats (92 percent) received a passing grade of ‘C’ at more than double the rate of their Republican (37 percent) colleagues.

“This analysis affirms that voters’ views on marijuana policy are well ahead of many of their federally elected officials,” Danielle Keane, NORML political director, wrote in the executive summary. “While the majority of Americans support legalizing the use and sale of cannabis for adults, only four percent of Congressional members voice support for this position.”

Of the nine states voting on cannabis initiatives in November, just 11 of the 128 elected officials representing those states in both houses received an ‘A’ grade – eight of those 11 represented California. No legislator from North Dakota, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, or Wyoming received an ‘A’ grade. None of the Arkansas Senators or Representatives scored a grade higher than ‘D,’ and Republican Representative Kevin Cramer is the lone North Dakota lawmaker to receive a passing grade.

“Although many members of Congress are increasingly becoming aware of this changing public sentiment, federal leadership on the issue of marijuana law reform is still sorely lacking,” the summary states.

Several marijuana-related measures are pending before the 114th Congress, but no bill has made it to the floor for a vote.

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