NORML Releases 2018 Gubernatorial Scorecard

Generic 25 April 2018 | 0 Comments

We are pleased to release our 2018 Gubernatorial Scorecard. 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.

KEY FINDINGS

  • Twenty-four US governors received a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher (14 Democrats, 9 Republicans, and 1 Independent)
  • Of these, only two US governors, both Democrats, received an ‘A’ grade
  • Fifteen governors received a ‘B’ grade (9 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 1 Independent)
  • Seven governors received a ‘C’ grade (4 Republicans and 3 Democrats)
  • Nineteen governors received a ‘D’ grade (18 Republicans and 1 Democrat)
  • Four governors received a failing ‘F’ grade (All Republicans)
  • Three governors received no grade because of insufficient data
  • Of the 31 Republican US governors receiving a letter grade, only nine of them received a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher (34 percent)
  • Of the 15 Democratic US governors receiving a letter grade, 14 of them received a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher (93 percent)

Commenting on the results, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri stated, “While federal officials tend to receive most of the scrutiny in the fight for marijuana law reform, it is not just members of Congress who deserve our attention. In fact, with the majority of marijuana-related campaigns decided on the state level, it is our nation’s governors who often hold the key to our success or failure.”

Similar to the findings of NORML’s 2016 Governors Scorecard, this gubernatorial analysis once again affirms that voters’ views on marijuana policy are typically more progressive than the views held by the highest elected officials in their states – only 48 percent of whom received a passing grade from NORML. For example, while 64 percent of Americans support legalizing the use and sale of cannabis for adults, only two Governors are public in their support of this position. Governors overall are also far less supportive of legislation to legalize the medical use of cannabis than are their constituents – more than 90 percent of whom back these type of reform measures.

Also evident is that gubernatorial support for marijuana law reform often falls upon partisan lines. While 93 percent of Democratic governors received a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher, fewer than 40 percent of Republican governors did so. Further, nearly all of the governors who received either a ‘D’ or a failing grade from NORML are Republicans. Conversely, both of the governors who received a ‘A’ grade from NORML are Democrats. This partisanship lies largely in contrast to voters’ sentiments, as the public tends to view many aspects of marijuana law reform, such as the regulation of medicinal cannabis, as non-partisan issues. (For example, according to 2017 Quinnipiac polling, 90 percent of Republicans, 95 percent of Democrats, and 96 percent of Independents favor “allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes.”)

Altieri continued: “Voters need to push current governors and 2018 gubernatorial candidates to take a proactive and positive stance on marijuana policy. Constituents must let their governors know that holding positions on marijuana legalization that are of step with the will of state voters will cost them at the ballot box, and that embracing sensible reform policies will increase their support among voters.”

He added: “Look to New Jersey as an example. The exit of anti-drug zealot Chris Christie and the election of pro-legalization Phil Murphy has changed the entire tenor of the debate. Already, the state is moving to expand and reinforce their long suffering medical marijuana program and his very election catapulted the topic of full legalization to the top of this year’s legislative priorities list.”

To read NORML’s full report, please visit: http://norml.org/us-governors

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New app could make cannabis use safer

Did you know that? 24 April 2018 | 0 Comments

Researchers have developed a prototype app called ‘Am I Stoned’ that could help cannabis users understand how the drug is affecting them through a series of phone-based tasks.

NORML Delivers Over 10,000 Citizen Comments To The FDA Calling For The Reconsideration of Cannabis Prohibition

Generic 24 April 2018 | 0 Comments

NORML today hand-delivered over 10,000 written comments from US citizens calling on federal and international agencies to amend the international prohibition of cannabis. The public comments, which were requested earlier this month by the US Food and Drug Administration, will be considered as part of the World Health Organization’s ongoing review of the plant’s international classification.

Under international treaties, the marijuana plant is classified in the most restrictive schedules available for controlled substances. NORML maintains that this scheduling does not accurately reflect the plant’s widespread therapeutic acceptance and relatively low abuse potential.

 

The United National’s international prohibition of cannabis is a relic from a bygone era. This decision, which was largely a political one made over 50 years ago, does not accurately reflect either the available science or the rapidly changing political and cultural status of cannabis worldwide.

Members of NORML’s Board of Directors also submitted their own written testimony to the FDA, opining: “In general, the safety, dependence, and usage profile of cannabis compares favorably to alcohol, tobacco, and other unscheduled substances. For this reason, NORML believes that cannabis [ultimately] should be withdrawn from the treaty framework entirely.”

As of 1pm EST on April 23rd, there are only 6,566 comments submitted through the federal site. With the comments by NORML members, we will have submitted 61% of all public comments should that number hold.

Background per Regulations.gov:

The United States is a party to the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances (Psychotropic Convention). Article 2 of the Psychotropic Convention provides that if a party to the convention or WHO has information about a substance, which in its opinion may require international control or change in such control, it shall so notify the Secretary-General of the United Nations (the U.N. Secretary-General) and provide the U.N. Secretary-General with information in support of its opinion.

Paragraph (d)(2)(A) of the CSA (21 U.S.C. 811) (Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970) provides that when WHO notifies the United States under Article 2 of the Psychotropic Convention that it has information that may justify adding a drug or other substances to one of the schedules of the Psychotropic Convention, transferring a drug or substance from one schedule to another, or deleting it from the schedules, the Secretary of State must transmit the notice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary of HHS). The Secretary of HHS must then publish the notice in the Federal Register and provide opportunity for interested persons to submit comments that will be considered by HHS in its preparation of the scientific and medical evaluations of the drug or substance.

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Hemp shows potential for treating ovarian cancer

Did you know that? 23 April 2018 | 0 Comments

Results from some of the first studies to examine hemp’s ability to fight cancer show that it might one day be useful as plant-based treatment for ovarian cancer. Hemp is part of the same cannabis family as marijuana but doesn’t have any psychoactive properties or cause addiction.

Prenatal cannabis use associated with low birth weights

Did you know that? 23 April 2018 | 0 Comments

With marijuana use during pregnancy on the rise, a new study shows that prenatal cannabis use was associated with a 50 percent increased likelihood of low birth weight, setting the stage for serious future health problems including infection and time spent in neonatal intensive care units.