By DAN SEWELL, Associated Press
CINCINNATI (AP) — Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner says he has had a change of heart on marijuana and will promote its nationwide legalization.
Known as an avid cigarette smoker, the Ohio Republican has joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a multistate cannabis company. The company also announced that former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld has joined its advisory board.
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
Boehner says in a statement his position "has evolved" from opposition to legalizing marijuana. He says he believes legalizing marijuana can be helpful to the nation's veterans and as a way to help fight the U.S. opioid drug crisis. He wants to see federally funded research done and to allow Veterans Affairs to offer marijuana as a treatment option.
Boehner also says the move would curtail federal-state conflict on marijuana policies.