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October 27, 2016

Wolf, Christie earn polar-opposite grades on marijuana 'scorecard'

Politics Marijuana
Carroll - Pup Up Weed Garden Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A male marijuana plant was on display near a large amount of donated munchies.

When it comes to efforts toward legalizing marijuana, Gov. Tom Wolf scores pretty high, according to one nonprofit.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on the other hand, not so much.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, an organization working toward legalizing the drug, released its first "Gubernatorial Scorecard." NORML gave each U.S. governor an A-F grade based on his or her comments or political record on pushing progressive legislation forward.

Wolf, who officially legalized medical marijuana in April, earned a B+. NORML also referenced public comments he made on the issue, including his stance on decriminalizing pot in Pennsylvania.

“Too many people are going to prison because of the use of very modest amounts or carrying modest amounts of marijuana, and that is clogging up our prisons, it’s destroying families, and it’s hurting our economy," Wolf said in an interview with Scott LaMar on his show "Small Talk" in August. 

Mayor Jim Kenney led the 2014 effort to decriminalize marijuana in Philadelphia.

Christie earned a D+ for his endeavors. During his tenure, PTSD was added to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. Christie also signed a bill that allows disabled students to carry medical marijuana while at school. 

GALLERY: Philly's 'pop-up weed garden'

While his achievements could be viewed as forward-thinking, Christie ultimately earned the low grade because of comments he made about federal policies while he ran to become the Republican presidential nominee during the 2016 primaries.

“Marijuana is against the law in the states and it should be enforced in all 50 states,” Christie said on “Fox and Friends," Politico reported. “That’s the law and the Christie administration will support it.”

NORML wasn't exactly generous with its grading. Twenty-eight governors received a "C" or higher, while 17 received a "B" rating, 13 with a "D," seven had an "F." Two weren't rated due to "insufficient data," according to the website, while only two received an "A" rating.

Governors across the nation didn't reflect the majority of Americans' views. A recent study from the Pew Research Center showed that 57 percent of U.S. adults think that marijuana usage should be legalized.

"Constituents ought to demand that their lawmakers legislate on behalf of policies that more closely reflect marijuana’s rapidly changing legal and cultural status," NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said in a statement.

The scorecard comes less than two weeks before the Nov. 8 general election where voters in California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada will vote on legalizing recreational pot.