Former House Speaker John Boehner voted to prohibit medical marijuana as a U.S. congressman from Ohio in 1999, but he came out in support of some uses of cannabis on Wednesday. Lauren Victoria Burke/AP hide caption
toggle caption Lauren Victoria Burke/AP
John Boehner, former speaker of the House, became an unlikely advocate for marijuana on Wednesday.
Reversing years of opposition to the drug when he served in Congress, the Republican announced that his “thinking on cannabis has evolved.”
He tweeted that he was joining the Board of Advisors of Acreage Holdings, a corporation formerly known as High Street Capital Partners that operates cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensing across 11 states.
Boehner said: “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.”
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. @AcreageCannabis https://t.co/f5i9KcQD0W
— John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) April 11, 2018
The announcement is a departure from his stance on cannabis use while in office. He voted to prohibit medical marijuana in Washington, D.C., in 1999. Two years later, he wrote a letter to an Ohio constituent, stating, “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,” according to NORML, a marijuana advocacy group.