Since former House Speaker John Boehner (D-Ohio) left the Capitol, he has been championing the legalization of cannabis in the United States.
During a Monday interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, Boehner joined Kevin Murphy — the CEO of Acreage Holdings, a publicly traded medicinal cannabis company — to discuss why he believes cannabis legalization should be left to the states despite opposing legalization throughout his time in the House.
Watch the video below:
“As someone who was in the political arena for nearly 35 years, when I look up and see 33 states approving the use of cannabis in some form, you begin to realize that there’s something going on out there. The American people are clearly moving on the subject. I feel like I was one of them. I opposed cannabis my entire career, but over the last five years or so, I felt myself moving. And then as I heard more and more anecdotal stories about people who were using cannabis for medicinal purposes, it began to convince me that I wanted to be part of this discussion.”
Murphy expanded on Boehner’s comments, pointing to the fact that marijuana is still federally listed as a Schedule I drug, meaning the federal government does not consider marijuana to have any medicinal benefits despite many medical professionals who disagree. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, and meth.
“We believe over the last eight or nine years, we have proven the fact that [cannabis] can help a veteran, it can help an epileptic child,” Murphy said.
Boehner has been pushing his former colleagues on Capitol Hill to pass a bill that would turn the decision over to the states as to whether they should legalize medicinal or even recreational marijuana, abandoning a federal policy on cannabis altogether. The former speaker claimed that the bill could pass within the next year.
“When the American people are for something, their members of Congress listen and they come along. And so the STATES Act, which would say if it’s legal in that state the federal government recognizes that it’s legal in that state, I think has a very good chance of passing sometime next year.”
While Boehner seems confident in the bill’s passage, it isn’t yet clear how much support the legislation would have in Congress.