Former House Speaker Boehner says he will promote legalizing marijuana

State News
John Boehner_256558

FILE – In this Feb. 26, 2015 file photo, then-House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boehner predicted on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, that a full repeal and replacement of “Obamacare” is “not going to happen.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner says he has had a change of heart on marijuana and will promote its nationwide legalization.

Known as an avid cigarette smoker, the Ohio Republican has joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings , a multistate cannabis company. The company also announced that former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld has joined its advisory board.

Boehner says in a statement his position “has evolved” from opposition to legalizing marijuana. He says he believes legalizing marijuana can be helpful to the nation’s veterans and as a way to help fight the U.S. opioid drug crisis. He wants to see federally funded research done and to allow Veterans Affairs to offer marijuana as a treatment option.

Boehner also says the move would curtail federal-state conflict on marijuana policies.

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