John Boehner lights up Twitter after announcing he's joined pot board

Marsha Scott
April 12, 2018

After people realized Wednesday that this is not fake news, they passed the Doritos.

The former House representative (Republican) announced on Wednesday that he will be joining the board of a cannabis company called Acreage Holdings. Even as recently as 2015, Boehner reiterated his opposition to the legalization of "marijuana or other FDA Schedule I drugs". The General Assembly is weighing whether to legalize recreational marijuana; last week, a bill proposing a regulatory apparatus for recreational marijuana was voted out of committee, the first time in state legislature history that a recreational marijuana bill is fated for full consideration. The Justice Department in January rescinded the Obama-era policies that allowed state legal pot markets to flourish. Veterans can not be prescribed medical marijuana by doctors from the VA. The announcement of Boehner's decision also comes at a decisive time in the development of legalized marijuana as a legitimate business.

The news was hailed by the chairman of Marijuana Majority, a nonprofit that works to reform pot laws nationwide. "I was a little bit ahead of the field there", he said.

Spokesperson David Schnittger said Boehner's evolving position has been the result of close study after leaving office.

While many cannabis activists welcomed Boehner's change of heart, some critics complained that he's yet another wealthy white man able to slide into the marijuana industry while tens of thousands of Americans - particularly young black men - remain jailed on drug charges.

Mr. Altieri said Mr. Boehner could have more credibility among opponents, able to meet them where they are.

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"This is a great step for the industry and a strong indicator of the political and social winds blowing in favor of legalization", said Derek Peterson, CEO of Terra Tech, a publicly traded cannabis company in the US with medical dispensaries in California and Nevada. "Cannabis could be perceived as an exit drug, not a gateway drug" for opioids, he explained, noting that his libertarian view on the matter had led him to support marijuana legalization in MA as early as 1992.

"We need to look no further than our nation's 20 million veterans, 20 percent of whom, according to a 2017 American Legion survey, reportedly use cannabis to self-treat PTSD, chronic pain and other ailments", they wrote, "Yet the VA does not allow its doctors to recommend its usage".

Neither Boehner nor Weld has made a financial investment in Acreage, though Weld says he's considering it.

New York-based Acreage, which has cannabis operations in 11 states, said Boehner and Weld will serve on its board of directors when that is formed.

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Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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