John Boehner: Here’s What Changed His Mind
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John Boehner: Here’s What Changed His Mind
Posted by CN Staff on April 11, 2018 at 11:19:11 PT
By Christopher Ingraham and Alex Horton
Source: Washington Post
USA -- John A. Boehner, the former Republican speaker of the House who once said he was “unalterably opposed” to decriminalizing marijuana laws, has joined a board of directors for a cannabis company with an eye on rolling back federal regulations.The former Ohio congressman, who led a party that was historically opposed to legalizing marijuana, has been appointed to the board of advisers of Acreage Holdings, Boehner said in a statement Wednesday. The company grows and sells legal weed and operates in 11 states.
“I have concluded descheduling the drug is needed so that we can do research and allow [the Department of Veterans Affairs] to offer it as a treatment option in the fight against the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our communities,” he said.The move is a stark reversal for the former speaker, who in 2011 wrote a constituent that he was against “legalization of marijuana or any other FDA Schedule I drug,” adding that “I remain concerned that legalization will result in increased abuse of all varieties of drugs, including alcohol.”Boehner reiterated his opposition to legalization as recently as September 2015. Nearly half a million people were arrested for selling weed during Boehner's term as speaker from 2011-2015, Quartz reported.Spokesman David Schnittger said Boehner's evolving position has been the result of close study after leaving office.Currently, nine states plus Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational use of the drug, while many others allow some sort of medical use. The Justice Department has been prohibited from using federal funds to target state-legal medical marijuana businesses since 2014.Erik Altieri, executive director for the Washington-based marijuana advocacy group NORML, told The Washington Post that Boehner’s acceptance of marijuana tracks with rising American and even Republican lawmaker evolving beliefs about the drug and its uses.Boehner is joined on the board of advisers by former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, a Republican who left office in 1997 and was former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson's running mate in 2016 on the libertarian party ticket. As governor, Weld advocated for medical marijuana legalization since 1992.It is unknown if Boehner or Weld hold paid positions on the board. Acreage Holdings spokesman Lewis Goldberg declined to discuss salary or benefits of its executives. Weld told Bloomberg he was considering an investment in the company.Weld, a former federal prosecutor, said the conventional wisdom about marijuana during the Reagan administration was that it acted as a “gateway drug” to more harmful substances. “Now there’s some evidence that it can become an exit drug” and an alternative to opioid addiction, which has become the primary public health concern in Massachusetts, he said in an interview with The Post.Weld said his advocacy will likely find appeal among conservatives who champion state laws to regulate issues without federal interference.In a joint statement, Boehner and Weld focused on a long-standing concern among veterans and advocacy groups — federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, the same as heroin and ecstasy.Current prohibitions have stymied research at Veterans Affairs to evaluate the drug's efficacy in treating post-traumatic stress and physical pain as the result of military service, then-VA Secretary David Shulkin said earlier this year. Critics of restrictions say a tangle of federal laws that regulate research and funding have confused VA and lawmakers on what it can evaluate.Veterans advocating for decriminalizing marijuana have spoken with Boehner in the past, he said. “It was an argument he heard as a member, considered and never dismissed,” Schnittger said.Descheduling cannabis would not legalize it nationally, but it would end federal marijuana enforcement and allow states to set their own marijuana policies without federal interference.Polls show that over 60 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana completely, with well over 90 percent in favor of legal medical use. Democrats eyeing a 2020 presidential run have grown increasingly vocal about the shortcomings of current federal law.Acreage Holdings, a main player in the increasingly white-collar marijuana trade, will expand its research initiatives among universities as it seeks to “demystify” cannabis, chief executive Kevin Murphy told The Post. The company cultivates, processes and distributes marijuana in the growing, billion-dollar industry, according to its site.The company focused on veterans in its messaging because they are “passionate” about broadening marijuana options available to former troops, Murphy said.The American Legion, the largest veterans group in the country, found in a 2017 survey that veterans overwhelmingly support marijuana use for medical reasons. About 22 percent of veteran households said they use weed for medical reasons.Altieri, of NORML, said he hopes Boehner will use his influence within the GOP to extend acceptance of marijuana, which may lead to legalization laws for veterans and nonveterans alike.But, he said, Boehner probably would have been more influential had he been a proponent of marijuana use for veterans while he was speaker. Altieri said an earlier intervention “could’ve reduced veteran suicide,” which VA estimates to claim the lives of 20 veterans a day.“It would’ve been more helpful for him advocating for this 10 years ago,” he said.Alex Horton is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post. He previously covered the military and national security for Stars and Stripes, and served in Iraq as an Army infantryman. Christopher Ingraham writes about all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center. Source: Washington Post (DC)Author: Christopher Ingraham and Alex HortonPublished: April 11, 2018Copyright: 2018 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on April 14, 2018 at 08:13:22 PT
You got that right. It's not the money that is evil... it's the love of the money that causes it to be the "Root of a great deal of evil". And that is a quote from Paul of Tarsus, in a letter he wrote to young Timothy of Lystra, while Timothy was trying to organize a church in Ephesus. It might be in the Canterbury Tales though, as well. It's a well considered piece of information from any source. Everybody knows it's true.And the letter said more, too. About how those that give into that love and find themselves, "Eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." "Pierced themselves with many griefs" doesn't sound fun. I'm with you about watching 'em. That's the truth. It's like they're playing a shell game up there and we definitely have to watch them. Closely.It's not too late for them to do some legalizing for all the right reasons... like justice... right and wrong... and all that wonderful stuff. But if love or need for money stirs the indifferent soul into helping right this terrible wrong... better than not stirred at all.
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Comment #9 posted by Soup herb on April 13, 2018 at 16:11:20 PT:
Let's not forget...
The love of money is the root of all evil.
Canterbury Tales written in like the 16th century...
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Comment #8 posted by Soup herb on April 13, 2018 at 16:08:06 PT:
I am in favor of good intentions. But actions speak louder than words. Until there is concrete change in federal law people will continue to be persecuted over cannabis. 
And I heard somewhere that "good intentions are the path to hell."
So, lets keep a positive attitude and we'll see what really happens. Heh.
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on April 13, 2018 at 12:35:09 PT
Wording... — U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner won’t block any more nominees to the U.S. Department of Justice over the issue of marijuana, the Colorado Republican announced Friday.In a statement, Gardner said he got an assurance from President Donald Trump that the agency wouldn’t mess with the state’s marijuana industry — in spite of a decision by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to void an Obama-era policy, known as the Cole memo, which generally left alone states that had legalized the drug.“Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the president that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry,” he said in a statement. “Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all.”In February, Gardner lifted most of the holds he put on the Justice nominees the month before. Friday’s decision stopped the blockade on the few who were left.
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on April 13, 2018 at 12:26:01 PT
Denver Post news headline.
President Trump to Cory Gardner: Colorado’s legal marijuana won’t be targeted by Jeff Sessions, Justice DepartmentColorado’s Republican senator says he will not block any more Justice nominees
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on April 12, 2018 at 23:43:07 PT
stark reversals
I'm all for it, for prohibitionists. No doubt. Sounds like a very good idea to me. An excellent turn of events! And epiphanies from God... Oh my Lord! Or wherever you think epiphanies come from. The soul? The spirit? The heart? The brain? The conscience? The pocketbook? I wish to think a bit better of people sometimes. I could be wrong... but whether I am or not... I'm watching and easing up on the accusing....maybe it's something more than dollar signs.I think there should be epiphanies concerning cannabis and it's prohibition. I had one. It was pretty danged profound. Epiphanies by there very nature are profound. There's that free will issue of course... but epiphanies are free gifts... insights... ah ha moments...and you can take them or leave them.These guys need to be jumping up out there and shouting about their stark reversals and sudden epiphanies like there's some kind of revival going on! A revival of common sense and human compassion! For heaven's sake. Or reason or logic's sake! Or for some reason.I don't care who gets rich off it as long as they stop killing, imprisoning, and persecuting people over it.
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Comment #4 posted by Soup herb on April 12, 2018 at 18:59:33 PT:
Here’s What Changed His Mind
Lobbyists, insider trading, capital investing, tax breaks(evasions)...etc.
Acreage Holdings, Boehner said in a statement Wednesday. The company grows and sells legal weed and operates in 11 states. 
And getting ready to explode all over the world...
I'd say some one is about to make more money than they ever dreamed of...
The only reason it would have a chance to come off of Schedule one...and after it happens, sigh, corporations will turn the Mother Natures Miracle into the devil's own money maker. They will alter the true contribution to mankind to some sickening product pushing trash that will never ever again be some weed to smoke. Just like every other thing on this planet corporate designs have done.
If you think the Gov't is thinking of you well sorry to say you ain't even number two...FZ
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on April 12, 2018 at 07:22:57 PT
Heads Up: Weed Week
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on April 11, 2018 at 21:21:46 PT
Yes, follow the money.
There are many reasons to stop caging responsible adults for using cannabis.Money is one of them.The ignoids can profit by investing in the scam of caging their fellow citizens for using the plant or they can profit from RE-legalizing the plant.We're trying to get the ignoids to see the light.!. -One way or another...!RE-legaliztion is a better way for the ignoids (& it's not just ignoids) to profit and it's better for Our cause.So, if t's about the money, and We can then follow the money, give them more money. Better cannabis related business than the prison complex..!..***But it might not be good to dis them after We achieve Our goal.For sure, it would be more clean to end cannabis prohibition, persecution and extermination if it was achieved because it simply is the right thing to do but...***2 different greeds; pick one.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on April 11, 2018 at 16:43:10 PT
It's Called:
Follow the Money!
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