Former House Speaker John Boehner Reverses Position on Marijuana

Apr 11, 2018 , , , , , , , , ,

Early this week, former Republican House Speaker John Boehner announced his support for descheduling marijuana at the federal level. At the same time, he revealed his plans to become advisor to a multi-state marijuana industry firm with dozens of locations. This is a stark departure from his previous stance on marijuana. While in Congress, Boehner voted in favor of legislation that prevented the District of Columbia from implementing its voter-approved medical marijuana program for more than a decade, and was a vocal opponent of legalization.

Marijuana Moment reports:

Boehner, along with former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R), is joining the Board of Advisors of Acreage Holdings, which holds 35 licenses for cannabis businesses across the U.S.

“When you look at the number of people in our state and federal penitentiaries, who are there for possession of small amounts of cannabis, you begin to really scratch your head,” Boehner said. “We have literally filled up our jails with people who are nonviolent and frankly do not belong there.”

In a tweet, Boehner, who did not endorse marijuana law reform while serving as the House’s top official, said he now supports removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, a process known as descheduling.

In a 2011 letter to a constituent, the speaker wrote, “I am unalterably opposed to the legalization of marijuana or any other FDA Schedule I drug. I remain concerned that legalization will result in increased abuse of all varieties of drugs, including alcohol.”

But now, Boehner says that he and Weld will advise Acreage on navigating confusing and conflicting federal and state marijuana laws.

While Boehner should be commended for seeing reason and adding his voice to those calling for sensible marijuana policy reform, many advocates are concerned that he is set to profit from policies he opposed and is not doing enough to counteract the impact of his words and actions while in office.

MPP’s Morgan Fox told The New York Times that Boehner “should be actively working to reform federal marijuana laws to allow states to determine their own policies, rather than just consulting with a business to navigate the conflicts between state and federal law. His positions on the issue while in House leadership most likely slowed progress for marijuana reform legislation, and he owes it to anyone whose life has been negatively impacted by a marijuana arrest to use his considerable influence to make up for that.”


9 responses to “Former House Speaker John Boehner Reverses Position on Marijuana”

  1. I am not ready to trust John Boehner yet. Is his real motive the amount of money he stands to gain, or is it his moral intention to right the wrongs he’s been guilty of? How much will he do to help free those jailed for miniscule crimes that shouldn’t have been considered crimes in the first place?

  2. Well that it just great. now that he has a monitorial interest he can suddenly see just how stupid it is to have it as a controlled substance. never was suppose to be never should be . You would think that after all the years of prohibition they would know better and marijuana is no where close to alcohol in altering the mind . none the less I just don’t really have any hope that it will ever happen in my state NC unless it comes down from the federal level . that is where the fight really needs to be . it should be legalized at that level and states should have to support it

  3. I hope John Boehner and Acerage holding are ostracized by the rest of the cannabisuness community. We should not reward an individual financially for their dismal record of holding back our industry and criminalizing our actions.

  4. Beth,
    What do you think MPP has been doing?
    Also, BOYCOTT “ACREAGE HOLDINGS”, Bohners new lobbying clients.

  5. I guess he finally caved, knowing how much money he will make. I’m still happy for the forward progress though!

  6. Any politician that flips his position is only and purely monitarally motivated. For the sake of his own greed many people will benefit. Now if he could only see how beneficial legal home grows would be economically. The black market would be greatly curtailed if a open flee market existed for craft growers. Control and taxes collected in one area. Hmmm how simple and easy.

  7. Just sent this email out to the 4 MMJ dispensaries in N. FL.
    “Is this company owned by or have any Board members associated with Acreage Holdings?”
    EMAIL YOURS IN YOUR STATE. LET’s send a more than clear message!!

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