skip to Main Content
NORML Releases Updated and Revised 2016 Congressional Scorecard

By Paul Armentano

Today is National Voter Registration Day and we are pleased to present this valuable voter education tool to the marijuana movement: NORML’s updated and revised 2016 Congressional Scorecard. The Scorecard is an all-encompassing database that assigns a letter grade of ‘A’ (the highest grade possible) to ‘F’ (the lowest grade possible) to members of Congress based on their comments and voting records on matters specific to marijuana policy.

KEY FINDINGS

Of the 535 members of the 114th Congress:

  • 330 members (62%) received a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher (270 Representatives and 60 Senators)
  • Of these, 22 members (4%) received a grade of ‘A’ (20 Representatives and 2 Senators)
  • 254 members (47%) received a ‘B’ grade (218 Representatives and 36 Senators)
  • 54 members (10%) received a ‘C’ grade (32 Representatives and 22 Senators)
  • 172 members (32%) received a ‘D’ grade (149 Representatives and 23 Senators)
  • 32 members (6%) received a failing grade (16 Representatives and 16 Senators)
  • 60 Senators (60%) received a passing grade of a C or higher (Two A’s, 36 B’s, and 22 C’s)
  • 270 Representatives (62%) received a passing grade of a C or higher (20 A’s, 218 B’s, and 32 C’s)
  • Of the 233 Democrats in Congress, 215 (92%) received a passing grade of a ‘C’ or higher
  • Of the 302 Republicans in Congress, 113 members (37%) received a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher

This analysis affirms that voters’ views on marijuana policy are well ahead of many of their federally elected officials. 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. Approximately half (51%) of federal lawmakers favor liberalizing medical cannabis policies. However, this percentage remains far below the level of support frequently expressed by voters in state and national polls.

Also evident is that Congressional support for marijuana law reform is largely a partisan issue. While more than nine out of ten Democrats express support for some level of reform, just over one-third of Republicans hold similar positions. This partisanship lies in contrast to voters’ sentiments, which tend to view the subject as a non-partisan issue. For example, recent polls from swing states show that super-majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents endorse medical marijuana legalization. Further, most Republican voters embrace principles of federalism with regard to cannabis policy. Nonetheless, Republican support for this position remains marginal among members of Congress.

HOW NORML’S CONGRESSIONAL SCORECARD IS CALCULATED

  • An ‘A’ letter grade indicates that this member has publicly declared his/her support for the legalization and regulation of marijuana for adults.
  • A ‘B’ letter grade indicates that this member supports policies specific to the legalization of medical cannabis and/or the decriminalization of cannabis.
  • A ‘C’ letter grade indicates that this member has publicly declared his/her support for the ability of a state to move forward with cannabis law reform policies free from federal interference.
  • A ‘D’ letter grade indicates that this member has expressed no support for any significant marijuana law reform
  • An ‘F’ letter grade indicates that this member expresses significant and vocal opposition to marijuana law reform

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To find NORML’s grade for a specific member of Congress and to read the Executive Summary, please visit: http://norml.org/congressional-scorecard.

Sincerely,
The NORML Team

Paul ArmentanoPaul Armentano

Paul Armentano

Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of NORML— the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. His writing on cannabis and cannabis policy has appeared in over 1,000 publications, scholarly and/or peer-reviewed journals, as well as in more than two dozen textbooks and anthologies. He is the co-author of the book, Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? (Chelsea Green, 2013) and the author of the book, The Citizen’s Guide to State-By-State Marijuana Laws (Whitman Press, 2015).

 

This Post Has One Comment
  1. It’s a shame that our representatives /politicians can not say or act on behalf of the people’s wishes & issues. So much is gets hung up along party lines. I spoke With my local councilman; when questioned on the issue of cannabis he was in favor but could not say anything until he spoke with his advisors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Stories

Medical marijuana associated with reduced pain and opioid related outcomes in cancer patients

A new study finds a link between the legalization of medical marijuana and a reduction in the rate of opioid dispensing and pain-related hospital events in some cancer patients. In…

Medical marijuana cards are now free in Rhode Island

Starting Thursday, Rhode Island medical marijuana patients will no longer have to pay $50 to obtain a medical card, a change that coincides with the start of recreational marijuana sales.…

How did Rhode Island’s first day of retail marijuana sales go? Pretty mellow.

The first day of legal weed sales in Rhode Island Thursday was, well, mellow – punctuated by a 96-year-old war veteran buying a pot cookie to have with his coffee…

Cannabis giant Curaleaf just laid off over 200 employees as the industry’s downturn deepens

Curaleaf, one of the largest cannabis companies in the world, has laid off hundreds of its staff, Insider has learned. The company laid off around 220 employees ahead of the…

More Categories

Back To Top
×Close search
Search