John Boehner joins marijuana company board, cites 'evolved' position

Tobacco Lover John Boehner Loves the Marijuana Business Now Too

Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday he's joined the board of a top cannabis company to promote medical marijuana.

Boehner will join former MA governor Bill Weld on the board of Acreage Holdings, a New York-based cannabis company that owns licences to manufacture or sell marijuana in 11 states. 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".

In a tweet Wednesday, Boehner, a Republican politician, said his views on marijuana have changed.

"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. "Public perception of cannabis has dramatically shifted, with 94 percent of Americans now in favor of some type of access, a shift driven by increased awareness of marijuana's many medical applications".

The former Republican congressman from OH, who as recently as 2011 claimed he was "unalterably opposed to the legalization of marijuana", wrote on Twitter that his thinking on the matter has "evolved".

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Both Boehner and Weld have agreed to immediately join the company's board of advisors and have committed to join the company's board of directors once it has been formed and other qualified directors have been appointed. Even as recently as 2015, Boehner reiterated his opposition to the legalization of "marijuana or other FDA Schedule I drugs".

As a lawmaker, John Boehner was against marijuana legalization-way against it. A further nine states and the District of Columbia allow its recreational use.

"With the majority of Republicans favoring legalization and states rights, it is no surprise that mainstream right-leaning politicians are beginning to gravitate towards cannabis".

Unlike Boehner, Weld, who was governor of the state for six years starting in 1991, has been in favour of modest liberalization of marijuana laws for his entire political career. While marijuana is illegal at the federal level, most states have legalized pot in some form.

Boehner's announcement was amplified by the fact that it came the same day as another big announcement from a House speaker, that House Speaker Paul Ryan had decided he wouldn't run for re-election, citing wanting to be better than a 'weekend dad'.

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