Legalization of Marijuana Gets New Champion in John Boehner
A Change of Heart in Political Minds?
Boehner Sees the Green Side of Cannabis
The fight to legalize marijuana at the federal level has gained a new champion with former Speaker of the House, John Boehner, who joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, one of the leading influential cannabis companies in the United States.
It’s a complete about-face for the Republican congressman who previously shot down proposals to “de-schedule” marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, which classifies it as having no known medical use and a high potential for abuse.
Boehner announced the news on his Twitter account. “I’m joining the board of #AcreageHoldings because my thinking on cannabis has evolved,” he wrote.
“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,” he added.
Boehner Voted Yes
In October 1999, Boehner voted yes on the proposed bill that prohibits the utilization of the federal budget for needle exchange programs, as well as the legalization of marijuana for medical use.
In 2011, he reiterated his stance against the legalization of marijuana both for medical and recreational use.
“I am unalterably opposed to the legalization of marijuana or any other FDA Schedule I drug,” he said. “I remain concerned that legalization will result in increased abuse of all varieties of drugs, including alcohol.”
Boehner Changed His Mind
After witnessing a friend effectively utilizing cannabis for the management of chronic back pain, Boehner has changed his stance on the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
Shortly after Boehner announced his support for de-scheduling marijuana, Acreage Holdings has announced their partnership with New Jersey-based Compassionate Care Foundation (CCF) in Egg Harbor to operate a 100,000-square foot marijuana farm in Gloucester County.
The new marijuana farm in Gloucester County is just the start of new marijuana farms as the collaboration is also seeking to open new dispensaries in Cherry Hill, Atlantic City, and Moorestown.
David Knowlton, the dispensary’s founder and president, said in a statement that they are excited about this new partnership and the planned expansion. To date, Compassionate Care is just one of the six dispensaries that are licensed to cultivate and sell medical marijuana. Under the partnership, Acreage will provide funding for the expansion.
“We are excited about this new partnership with a company that understands the vital importance of making medicinal marijuana available to the New Jerseyans who desperately need this option to address their conditions,” the statement read.
He stated that Acreage Holdings has the financial resources and the experience to help CCF get to the next level in its operations. Ultimately, this will provide an increasing number of patients access to medical marijuana.
Acreage president George Allen, meanwhile, said that the company has no significant presence in 12 states with this new partnership with CCF. Their scope has now reached 42% of the total population of the United States.
Allen said that they are fully on board with helping CCF achieve its goal of making New Jersey the benchmark for “a healthy, patient-first cannabis market.”
At this point, however, it’s not clear whether Boehner has invested his own money in the new partnership. The former Speaker of the House has not yet issued a statement on Acreage’s venture in New Jersey.