John Boehner Has ‘Evolved’ on Cannabis

By Michael Morris | April 11, 2018 | 10:41am EDT
Former Speaker of the House John Boehner and a marijuana plant (Screenshots)

In a tweet on April 11, 2018, former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner said that his “thinking on cannabis has evolved.”

“I’m joining the board of #AcreageHoldings because my thinking on cannabis has evolved,” stated John Boehner on his Twitter page. “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”

Acreage Holdings, formerly known as High Street Capital Partners, is a cannabis advocacy organization that hopes to, according to its About page, “build on its leadership position by expanding its footprint and capabilities in bringing safe, dosable and affordable cannabis to the market.”

Stated under the words “The dream,” Acreage Holdings lists their vision and mission. “Our Vision,” the About page reads: “We deeply believe in the transformational power that cannabis has to heal and change the world.” And it has as its stated mission, “To champion and provide access to cannabis’ beneficial properties by creating the best quality products and experiences.”

Boehner's shift in thinking comes some nine years after the former Speaker of the House reportedly told Bloomberg that he was “unalterably opposed” to the legalization of cannabis.


Cannabis and other substances are regulated under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) (21 U.S.C. § 811). According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “Factors determinative of control or removal from schedules” are as follows:

“In making any finding under subsection (a) of this section or under subsection (b) of section 812 of this title, the Attorney General shall consider the following factors with respect to each drug or other substance proposed to be controlled or removed from the schedules:

(1) Its actual or relative potential for abuse.

(2) Scientific evidence of its pharmacological effect, if known.

(3) The state of current scientific knowledge regarding the drug or other substance.

(4) Its history and current pattern of abuse.

(5) The scope, duration, and significance of abuse.

(6) What, if any, risk there is to the public health.

(7) Its psychic or physiological dependence liability.

(8) Whether the substance is an immediate precursor of a substance already controlled under this subchapter.”

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