Former House Speaker John Boehner has done a 180 on his stance on marijuana.
We are excited to join the team at Acreage in pursuit of their mission to bring safe, consistent and reliable products to patients and consumers who could benefit. But in a Wednesday tweet, he said his "thinking on cannabis has evolved" and that he believes it should be de-scheduled. The announcement of Boehner's decision also comes at a decisive time in the development of legalized marijuana as a legitimate business.
Boehner also said the move would curtail federal-state conflict on marijuana policies.
Weld, a former Republican who signed on as libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson's running mate in 2016, backed medical marijuana when he was governor of MA from 1991 to 1997. "Also, during this period, the public perception of cannabis has dramatically shifted, with 94% of Americans now in favor of some type of access, a shift driven by increased awareness of marijuana's many medical applications".
Marijuana is still classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule I substance - meaning it's considered more unsafe than cocaine (Schedule II) or ketamine (Schedule III).
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In a joint statement, the men said the time has come for serious consideration for a shift in federal marijuana policy.
The politicians' years in public office may help the company navigate the winding road to federal legalization. "Recent polling finds that over 60 percent of Americans support adult use marijuana legalization and, for the first time, this percentage includes a majority of self-identified Republicans". A further nine states and the District of Columbia allow its recreational use.
Boehner's acceptance of marijuana tracks with evolving beliefs about the drug and its uses among Americans and even Republican lawmakers, Erik Altieri, executive director for the Washington-based marijuana advocacy group NORML, told The Washington Post.
Murphy said in a statement Wednesday that Boehner and Weld "have shaped the political course of our country for decades and now they will help shape the course of this nascent but ascendant industry".
Before taking on the job of growing, distributing and retailing marijuana, Boehner was Speaker of the House, one of the most powerful people in national politics.