Monday, 23 April, 2018

John Boehner Says, 'My Thinking on Cannabis Has Progressed'

Boehner For Blunts? Former Speaker Joins Marijuana Firm Selling Weed In 11 States Tobacco Lover John Boehner Loves the Marijuana Business Now Too
Judith Alexander | 14 April, 2018, 21:32

The news of former Speaker of the House John Boehner joining Acreage Holdings as a board member caught many in the cannabis industry by surprise.

Boehner's latest position was announced in a joint statement with former MA governor Bill Weld, who is joining in the same role.

"Acreage has a mission to make cannabis available to any patient who can benefit from safe and reliable access", Acreage Holdings' CEO Kevin Murphy said, in the press release. "When we first approached him about it, I think he was a bit skeptical", Allen said.

Acreage, a big player in the developing U.S. cannabis industry, declared that Mr Boehner would bring his vast experience in government affairs and unmatched leadership to "help drive Acreage towards its strategic mission" to cultivate the finest pot in America.

In a 2016 letter to a constituent Boehner wrote, "I am unalterably opposed to the legalization of marijuana or any other FDA Schedule I drug".

Recreational marijuana is now legal in nine states and Washington, D.C. It's been legalized for medical uses in more than two dozen states.

Marijuana is still classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule I substance - meaning it's considered more unsafe than cocaine (Schedule II) or ketamine (Schedule III).

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Boehner said he does not have a financial investment in Acreage, which operates in 11 states. Weld has always subscribed to a libertarian philosophy that includes legalization.

Erik Altieri, executive director for the Washington-based marijuana advocacy group NORML, told The Washington Post that Boehner's acceptance of marijuana tracks with rising American and even Republican lawmaker evolving beliefs about the drug and its uses.

OH is one of 29 states that allow marijuana use for medical purposes.

"Over the past 20 years, a growing number of states have experimented with their right to offer cannabis programs under the protection of the Tenth Amendment", they said. Rand Paul, have advocated for the legalization of cannabis for years.

Boehner's move may also give hope to the industry after Attorney General Jeff Sessions' rescission of Obama-era policies that allowed cannabis businesses to thrive in states with regulated markets.

Boehner, who is widely known to have a fondness for cigarettes and red wine, served as House speaker from 2011 until his abrupt resignation as speaker and as a congressman in 2015.

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