Boehner Does a 180, Joins Cannabis Board

Former Massachusetts governor William Weld said he’s been in favor of medical marijuana since 1992 and supported the referendum that legalized recreational pot use in his home state in 2016

Boehner Does a 180, Joins Cannabis Board

Today, it can breathe a bit easier as former Republican House Speaker John Boehner joins the advisory board of USA cannabis producer Acreage Holdings.

'I'm joining the board of Acreage Holdings because my thinking on cannabis has evolved, ' Boehner wrote in a Wednesday tweet. According to the company's website, Acreage's mission "is to become the world's leading cannabis company, bringing safe, affordable cannabis to everyone who needs it". "When we first approached him about it, I think he was a bit skeptical", Allen said.

"I have concluded descheduling the drug is needed so that we can do research and allow VA to offer it as a treatment option in the fight against the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our communities", he said.

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But in his tenure in Congress, Boehner, well-known for his love of tobacco, opposed marijuana legalization.

Weld, a former Republican who signed on as libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson's running mate in 2016, backed medical marijuana when he was governor of MA from 1991 to 1997. Weld has always subscribed to a libertarian philosophy that includes legalization.

OH is one of 29 states that allow marijuana use for medical purposes. The Trump administration sent shockwaves through the industry earlier this year by threatening to end the federal government's laissez-faire approach to prosecuting cannabis charges, so the appearance of Boehner on the other side of the fence is a major political victory.

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Currently, nine states plus Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational use of the drug, while many others allow some sort of medical use.

'During that period, those rights have lived somewhat in a state of conflict with federal policy, ' the two former politicians pointed out. Rand Paul, have advocated for the legalization of cannabis for years. "These men have shaped the political course of our country for decades and now they will help shape the course of this nascent but ascendant industry".

Before taking on the job of growing, distributing and retailing marijuana, Boehner was Speaker of the House, one of the most powerful people in national politics. (Neither Boehner nor Weld invested in Acreage, though Weld said he might.) The domestic marijuana industry was worth just $10 billion in 2017; a drop in the bucket compared to the $77.6 billion in revenue alone that the tobacco industry pulled in in 2016.

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