John Boehner Turns Over A New Leaf, Joins Cannabis Company

John Boehner

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. While marijuana is illegal at the federal level, most states have legalized pot in some form. Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana argues the US should consider decriminalizing marijuana instead of creating a massive new industry selling an intoxicating substance. Acreage Holdings says it's "one of the nation's largest, multi-state actively-managed cannabis corporations" and that its "mission is to become the world's leading cannabis company, bringing safe, affordable cannabis to everyone who needs it".

About 61 percent of Americans said marijuana should be legalized in a Pew Research Center survey from October, compared with 31 percent in 2000.

Boehner said his perspective shifted after he saw the plant's efficacy in helping a close friend deal with debilitating back pain.

The politicians' years in public office may help the company navigate the winding road to federal legalization.

Boehner and Weld also voiced support for declassifying marijuana as a Class 1 drug under federal law, placing it among other drugs and substances with "no now accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse", according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The move from Boehner is a significant shift for the Ohio Republican, who just nine years ago said he was "unalterably opposed" to the legalization of marijuana, according to Bloomberg. Worldwide, legal marijuana could be a $57 billion industry by 2027, according to a report by Arcview Market Research.




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). During that period, those rights have lived somewhat in a state of conflict with federal policy.

Boehner's change of heart on the marijuana issue is also reflective of broader evolution in the U.S. Marijuana's potential use as a treatment for veterans helped sway him, too.

The governor had requested the marijuana legalization study as part of his state budget.

"When it comes to an issue like this, that has what I'll call murky legal issues and political issues, we're there to provide advice to Acreage in terms of how they work with state and federal governments, how they work with local governments and advice on what states look promising", Boehner said.

Nixon, who is challenging Cuomo in a Democratic primary, said NY should follow the lead of eight other states and end a "key front" in what she called the "racist" war on drugs.

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