Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

420000 people were arrested for selling marijuana while John Boehner ran Congress

420000 people were arrested for selling marijuana while John Boehner ran Congress

Acreage Holdings is a multi-state owner of cannabis licenses in states where medical or recreational use of the drug is allowed.

Outgoing U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) wipes his eye as he gives his farewell speech in the House Chamber of the Capitol October 29, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Although Boehner said in 2009 that he was "unalterably opposed" to legalizing cannabis, he told Bloomberg that "over the last 10 or 15 years, the American people's attitudes have changed dramatically".

The former OH congressman announced Wednesday that he's joining the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, one of the nation's largest cannabis companies.

Growing acceptance of marijuana on the right-in 2017, for the first time, a majority of Republicans supported legalization-has precipitated some elaborate ideological contortions as the party of Nancy Reagan and "just say no" evolves to stay in constituents' good graces.

"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", Boehner tweeted.

Roughly 61% of Americans believe that marijuana should be legal, according to a Pew Research Center poll from October. "Yet the VA does not allow its doctors to recommend its usage".

Robert Gauthier  Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Robert Gauthier Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

"Descheduling will reduce the conflict between federal policy and state programs".

Speculating who would take Ryan's place, Boehner guessed his No. 2, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who played the same role for Ryan, would likely be the next speaker if the Republicans retain the House. Bill Weld will also join the board.

During his 25-year career in the House, the hard-drinking Boehner was a key ally of the alcohol industry.

Acreage Holdings is one of the largest cannabis corporations in the country, which cultivates, processes and dispenses cannabis in nearly a dozen different states.

Twenty states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.

In a joint statement released Wednesday Boehner, who served as Speaker from 2011 to 2015, and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, cited the recent experimentation by a number of US states that have changed their marijuana laws in recent years as part of the reason for their decision. Acreage now has operations in 11 states, including in OR, where they run five dispensaries.

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