Former House Speaker Boehner Joins Cannabis Company Board To Push For Medical Use
Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has joined the board of a top cannabis company, marking a sharp shift on his once adamant stance against the legalization of marijuana in any shape or form. Now, he has claimed his new position is a means by which to promote medical marijuana as a legalized substance.
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Boehner released a statement on Wednesday, via Twitter, saying that his "thinking on cannabis has evolved."
I’m joining the board of #AcreageHoldings because my thinking on cannabis has evolved. I’m convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities. @AcreageCannabis https://t.co/f5i9KcQD0W
— John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) April 11, 2018
"I'm convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities," he said.
The company in question ins Acreage Holdings, one of the United States' largest cannabis corporations. The company currently operates in 11 states across the nation and is based in New York City.
Bill Weld, former Governor of Massachusetts will also join Boehner on the Board of Advisors. The pair released a joint statement stating their aim to de-schedule marijuana as a Class 1 drug:
"While the Tenth Amendment has allowed much to occur at the state level, there are still many negative implications of the Federal policy to schedule cannabis as a Class 1 drug: most notably the lack of research, the ambiguity around financial services and refusal of the VA to offer it as an alternative to the harmful opioids that are ravishing out communities," the statement said.
Polls have shown that the majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical use. Numerous states currently have medical marijuana programs in place that have shown promising results in helping veterans, reducing opioid use and reducing crime rates. Nevertheless, cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, leaving little room for substantial research to be done into the true benefits of marijuana as well as limiting access for thousands of people who need a non-addictive, safe alternative to harmful pharmaceuticals.
When it comes to cannabis legalization, many notable names have gotten on board in recent years, mostly due to marijuana's potential as a thriving and profitable industry.
Boehner's move marks a large shift for the Republican, who once said that he was "unalterably opposed" to legalizing marijuana.