Former Republican House Speaker Joins Board of Marijuana Company
Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner said his opinions on marijuana have “evolved” since learning more about the issue. Boehner recently joined the board of directors of Acreage Holdings, one of the largest cannabis corporations in the United States.
In a statement sent by Boehner to CNBC, he explained how he was motivated to become involved in the marijuana industry after witnessing the nation's opioid epidemic. In particular, the widespread use of opioids in the veteran community.
Boehner went on to advocate for descheduling marijuana, saying he does not believe it belongs in the same category with heroin and cocaine. He encourages the federal government to eliminate this conflict between national policy and state-legal programs.
This is a dramatic change from Boehner's once hard-line position against marijuana legalization, and it may not be his only change of heart. Boehner went from a position as the top Republican in Congress in 2015 to a vocal critic of his party. Since retiring from his position, he has spoken out against the Trump administration along with several of his former colleagues.
Bohner is joined on the Acreage board of directors by another Republican politician, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld. Bohner and Weld issued a joint statement arguing that the Schedule I status of marijuana is preventing the Veteran's Association from offering it as an alternative to opioids, which they said are “ravishing our communities.”
Kevin Murphy, CEO of Acreage Holdings, praised Weld and Boehner for their work in shaping the political course of the country and said they will now help shape the course of the marijuana industry.