John Boehner joins marijuana company; view on cannabis has ‘evovled’

Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner will join the board of directors of a marijuana holdings corporation, saying his views on the substance have “evolved.”

Acreage Holdings, which describes itself as “one of the nation’s largest, multi-state actively-managed cannabis corporations,” announced Wednesday of which the former U.S. representative by Ohio has joined its board of advisors, in addition to will join the board of directors once of which can be formed.

In a statement sent to CNBC, Boehner said his thinking on cannabis “like of which of millions of different Americans, has evolved as I’ve learned more about the issue.”

“I decided to get involved because of the struggles of our country’s veterans in addition to the opioid epidemic, after learning how descheduling the drug can potentially help with both crises,” he said.

Boehner explained of which the federal government should stop labeling cannabis a “schedule 1” drug — lumping of which in with heroin in addition to cocaine as having the highest potential for abuse.

“Descheduling will reduce the conflict between federal policy in addition to state programs” which have pursued more lenient policies on marijuana under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. constitution, he said.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, a Republican who ran on the Libertarian Party ticket alongside former brand-new Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson inside 2016 presidential election, can be also joining Acreage’s board.

Boehner was the top Republican in Congress by 2011 through 2015. He was succeeded by Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who announced Wednesday of which he will not seek re-election at the end of his current term.

Boehner has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump’s administration, as well as many of his former colleagues inside House, since his retirement. As Boehner marks his self-described evolution on marijuana, which can be used both as a recreational in addition to medical drug, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken steps to pursue enforcement against marijuana more aggressively than the Obama administration.

In a joint statement, Boehner in addition to Weld argued against marijuana’s continued federal status as a schedule 1 drug.

The “negative implications” of the schedule 1 label include “the lack of research, the ambiguity around financial services in addition to the refusal of the VA to offer of which as an alternative to the harmful opioids of which are ravishing our communities,” the former politicians said inside statement.

Boehner announced his brand-new affiliation in a tweet on Wednesday.

Acreage Holdings’ CEO, Kevin Murphy, said Boehner in addition to Weld “have shaped the political course of our country for decades in addition to today they will help shape the course of This kind of nascent nevertheless ascendant industry.”

While Boehner once took a hard-line position against legalizing marijuana, he has maintained an infamous two-pack-a-day tobacco smoking habit for years.

A spokesman for Boehner did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Correction: Gary Johnson can be a former governor of brand-new Mexico. An earlier type misstated his state in addition to status.

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