Prohibitionist, Republican John Boehner, has taken a Job in the Cannabis Industry with Acreage Holdings
Everyone has the right to change his or her mind. Some even say it is essential as human beings.
“…so soon as I discover my opinions to be erroneous, I shall be ready to renounce them,” said Abraham Lincoln.
This is what Former House Speaker John Boehner did when he announced that he endorses de-scheduling marijuana, which would remove it from the Controlled Substances Act and put an end to federal prohibition.
The man who once told a constituent that he was “unalterably opposed to the legalization of marijuana” has discovered his views “to be erroneous.”
The Ohio Republican and House Speaker from 2011 to 2015, said his “thinking on cannabis has evolved.”
“Over the last 10 or 15 years, the American people’s attitudes have changed dramatically,” said Boehner in an interview with Bloomberg. “I find myself in that same position.”
He also finds himself in the position of joining a very lucrative cannabis corporation, Acreage Holdings, which operates in 11 states and holds 35 licenses for cannabis businesses across the U.S.
Boehner announced his new profession in a Tweet on Wednesday.
“I’m joining the board of #AcreageHoldings because my thinking on cannabis has evolved. I’m convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities.”
With his announcement, Boehner joins the list of public officials to endorse de-scheduling marijuana, although it would have been nice if the House Speaker had seen the light before leaving office.
Former Republican Governor of Massachusetts, Bill Weld, is also joining the Acreage Holding Board of Advisors.
The two Republican retirees will help advise Acreage on what Boehner calls the “murky legal issues and political issues,” of legalization and how to work with state and local governments.
And best of all, for the hundreds of thousands of people ensnared in the criminal justice system for non-violent pot possession offenses, Boehner is actually speaking out.
“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.”
Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, said Mr. 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,” Fox told TheNew York Times “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.”