Former House Speaker John Boehner is flipping his position on marijuana and joining the advisory board of a cannabis company selling legal weed in 11 states. The firm is an investment corporation specializing in the cultivation and dispersal of marijuana across 11 different USA states. "The time has come for serious consideration of a shift in federal marijuana policy", the two said in a joint press release adding that marijuana should be used to "self-treat PTSD, chronic pain and other ailments".
Still, the drug remains federally illegal and is classified as a Schedule I narcotic, the harshest of five government ratings.
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John Boehner is jumping into the marijuana industry, in a move one analyst describes as "monumental" for the sector.
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Boehner, along with former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings Wednesday, which oversees operations for marijuana cultivation, processing and dispensing throughout the country including in California, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Florida.
"Paul Ryan has done an extraordinary job leading the House through turbulent waters at a time when the political discourse in America is changing", Boehner said in a statement. Since then, he's served as a board member for tobacco company Reynolds American and adviser for global law firm Squire Patton Boggs US. "Allowing states the flexibility and autonomy to set their own marijuana regulatory policies is consistent with conservatives' long-held respect for the Tenth Amendment, as well as with the party's recent embracing of populism".
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"It is hard to overstate the impact of this monumental event for the United States cannabis sector", Vahan Ajamian, a cannabis-industry analyst at Beacon Securities, said in a note. In 2011, Boehner proclaimed that he was "unalterably opposed" to legalization. But active involvement in the cannabis industry from top-tier Republicans suggest a number of small incremental changes could be on the way, said Hadley. While marijuana is illegal at the federal level, most states have legalized pot in some form. "We look forward to his voice joining the growing chorus calling for an end to cannabis criminalization", Altieri said.