For the politics of pot, the times they are a-changing. But in which direction? For some politicians, that can depend on when you ask.
For example, former House Speaker John Boehner, who was “unalterably opposed” to marijuana legalization as recently as 2015, announced in a tweet last week that he is joining the weed industry and the legalization cause.
Boehner, who served as speaker from 2011 to 2015 — and voted against legalizing medicinal marijuana in the District of Columbia in 1999 — announced that he is joining the board of advisers for Acreage Holdings, a company that cultivates, processes and dispenses cannabis in 11 states.
More than half of the states have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, although the laws and regulations vary widely from state to state.
“I’m joining the board of #AcreageHoldings because my thinking on cannabis has evolved,” Boehner wrote in a tweet linked to a company news release. “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.”
That’s quite a pivot. My reaction is two-fold: a.) Welcome aboard the legalization movement, Mr. Speaker, and b.) what took you so long?
With no pun intended, Boehner’s announcement came in a joint statement with William Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts who ran on the Libertarian Party’s ticket in 2016 with former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. Unlike Weld, a long-time supporter of legalization, Boehner has not often been associated with much of anything that is more exotic than cigarettes, golf and a nice glass of Merlot.
Now, in a living example of the old adage “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” Boehner’s joining the cannabis industry and legalization cause…