John Boehner Joins Advisory Board of Marijuana Company, Despite Past Opposition

John Boehner

John Boehner Verified account @SpeakerBoehner

After people realized Wednesday that this is not fake news, they passed the Doritos.

Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday he has had a change of heart on marijuana and will promote its nationwide legalization as a way to help veterans and the nation's deadly opioid crisis.

And coming on the same day that his successor, Paul Ryan, announced that he will not seek re-election, was just too, too much news for some folks to process in a single news cycle, though there are now dreams of the two opening a pot dispensary together.

"It would've been more helpful for him advocating for this 10 years ago", he said.

For decades, the federal government has classified marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance, treated on par with heroin and cocaine. President Donald Trump's administration in January lifted a Barack Obama-era policy that discouraged federal authorities from cracking down on the pot trade in states where the drug is legal.

Boehner, who served as Speaker from 2011 until his resignation from Congress in 2015, was appointed to the board of advisers at Acreage Holdings, a multi-state cannabis business that aims to "make cannabis available to any patient who can benefit from safe and reliable access". When he was speaker, Republicans in 2014 fought to undo the District of Columbia's legislation legalizing marijuana, threatening to prohibit funding that would in any way allow for the the D.C. law to be carried out. "Shocked. Shocked, I say!", Sabet tweeted.

Nixon said if there was more "political courage" in Albany, the drug already would be legal.

Boehner said his perspective shifted after he saw the plant's efficacy in helping a close friend deal with debilitating back pain. "We have literally filled up our jails with people who are nonviolent and frankly do not belong there". But the $168.3 billion state budget passed on March 30 includes funding for his plan to conduct a study on the health, economic and criminal justice impacts legalized marijuana could have across NY, especially now that neighboring Vermont and MA have legalized it.

Despite the GOP mostly lauding the amendment, Republican politicians have been split on the cannabis issue. "I have concluded descheduling [cannabis] is needed so that we can do research and allow the VA to offer it as a treatment option", he said.

Neither Boehner nor Weld has made a financial investment in Acreage, though Weld says he's considering it. "You can look at the trend of millennial opinion and you can see the future".

Weld said his advocacy will likely find appeal among conservatives who champion state laws to regulate issues without federal interference.

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