NORML Responds as Ex-House Speaker Signs On With Marijuana Industry Leader

It has been announced that former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, along with former Republican Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld, have joined the Board of Advisors for Acreage Holdings, a multi-state corporation operating in the medical and recreational marijuana space. The company holds licenses for dozens of cannabis businesses in the United States.

Boehner, in comments to the press, made it clear that he has reversed his long held opposition to marijuana legalization. In an interview with Bloomberg news wire, he stated: “Over the last 10 or 15 years, the American people’s attitudes have changed dramatically. I find myself in that same position.”

In response to this announcement, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri issued the following statement:

“John Boehner’s evolution on marijuana legalization mirrors that of both the American public in general and Republicans specifically. Recent polling finds that over 60 percent of Americans support adult use marijuana legalization and, for the first time, this percentage includes a majority of self-identified Republicans. 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.”

Altieri continued, “Regardless of motive, former Speaker Boehner is still held in high regard by a large percentage of the GOP membership and voter base. We look forward to his voice joining the growing chorus calling for an end to cannabis criminalization. Anything that expedites the ability for patients to access this safe and reliable treatment alternative, and that facilitates an end to the practice of arresting otherwise law abiding citizens for the possession of a plant should be welcomed with open arms.”

39 thoughts

    1. HA, more like open wallet! This old snake just scooped the opportunity when the time was right. He said not too long ago he would never accept cannabis legalization, then someone waved some money in his face.

      1. We want more people to come around.Doesn’t help to bash them when they do.

      2. Bill,
        Who says Boehner has come around. He made some money for himself, that doesn’t mean he supports legalization, or cares about a better society. He’s just getting rich; that is usually done without regard to any ethical principle.

        I won’t kiss his ass for that!

      3. Profit motive is the main driver in all business, otherwise nothing will get to market. The more the greedy asses the better.

  1. Let’s put the lime-light on former Speaker Boehner to promote fairly taxed and equitable marijuana law for his state of Ohio. Ohio has suffered too many setbacks by making marijuana monopoly policies that split votes and make the perfect the enemy of the good. Boehner needs to stop that if he wants to make some money in Ohio.

    Thank you Eric for allowing Republicans the space to change their positions on marijuana policy for the better… even if their business interests in private life don’t coincide with their voting record as political leaders, we can bet Boehner sure wishes he had been more marijuana friendly when he had the gavel!

    Seriously, I think Boehner will have more influence as a promoter of marijuana policy reform in the public sector than he ever had working for the Koch brothers on Capitol Hill. (Passing the hemp amendment will be sweet liberty for guys who ki$$ed Koch @$$ for a living).
    C’mon Boehner; bring a few Republican Congressman with you to the next meeting of the House Cannabis Caucus… you can be the Budtender…
    “Cause you got to know when to roll-em…
    Know when to fold’em…”

  2. Boehner is a citizen, and he gets one vote.

    Does Boehner’s “come to Jesus moment” mean he will oppose Trump/Duterte in 2020? I’m skeptical.

    Let’s see him walk that talk before getting a pat on the back. Otherwise, it’s just more “hemp-friendly” marketing from a racist, fascist, prohibitionist Republican Party that will lie through its teeth, and betray any principle, to win an election.

    I’m not falling for it. Republicans are still the party of marijuana prohibition and the War on Drugs. It’s not a secret. Just ask Traitor Trump!

    1. When Boehner becomes an Independent, or a Democrat, then I will be impressed. Until then, it doesn’t mean much. It’s only his one vote, and we still have to take his word on that.

      Why should I take the word of any Republican? What credibility?

      1. Republicanism is a racist cult. That’s why Republicans act like being a Republican is non-negotiable. They offer their support for marijuana legalization at a price: the normalization, not of marijuana, but rather of white supremacy, and of fascist authoritarianism.

        That’s a shitty deal!

        They are extortionists, without whom we would be much better off.

      2. Oh please Democrats are just as bad if not worse in most cases. I am not a Republican nor a Democrat, I am however sick of the current two party system and all the bickering back and forth about this and that. Democrats with their big government, racism b.s.(even though they try to hide behind their racist, slave owning, KKK past).

      3. Me,

        Hate to break the bad news to ya, but this latest GOP budget shows that yes, the GOP, is the party of big govt every bit as much as the Dems.

        Other than that, explain to me again how the Dems are just as bad if not worse than the GOP. I’m serious–please give some details.

      4. Me, this is You:

        “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”

      5. Your comment is a great example of useless rhetoric. Persuades nobody of anything, and distances those to whom you are appealling. Good job further postponing legal reform. SMH.

      6. 15MinLawyer,
        If that’s what you think, why don’t you back that shit up with some facts? Because you can’t, that’s why. Because I am right, that’s why.

        Some lawyer you are — afraid of rhetoric! Hardeharhar!

        You’re just like a dog running up and down the fence line. Bark bark bark! Settle down, boy. Down, boy.

      7. 15 minute,

        So let me get this straight. If you don’t like what Dain or anyone else is posting here you’re not gonna support legalization anymore? Is that what you’re saying?

      8. These types of childish comments are what give the democrats,independents and pot smokers a bad reputation.Time to grow up and welcome the help.Hopes are to win people over,not solidify thier position thru intolerance.

      9. Bill,

        I suppose you could say we learned very well from GOPers.

        You obviously weren’t on this forum back when Obama was Prez, because if you were you’d remember the non-stop howling from GOPers and Liberts about Obama and his jack-booted thugs.

        Today, so many GOPers on this forum are the voices of reason: why can’t we all get along? Why can’t we all unite in one common voice? So nice that so many GOpers and Liberts are now the voice of unity and brotherhood!

        Spare me the BS.

        During the Obama presidency, the same GOper and Libert voices (here on this forum): Obama’s a tyrant! He hates freedom, etc etc etc He’s only allowing AG Holder to ease up on MJ because he’s an opportunist and a hypocrite!

        Hell, you GOpers also called Nancy Pelosi a hypocrite–for supporting frigging legalization. On this forum!

        So no, I don’t give a crap any more about unity with GOpers and Liberts. We’re getting legalization passed without your help. In my city this week, we got decriminalization passed–without the help of one single GOper–and only because the GOper who was heretofore Mayor, is no longer mayor. We have decriminalization now because a Dem is now Mayor.

        And my state, New Mexico, has not had a chance to legalize for the last 8 years because we’ve had a friggin’ GOper as Gov–a Gov who vowed that she’d veto any MJ legalization bills.

        So spare me the “let’s all get along” bullshit. I don’t buy it anymore.

    2. Had Boehner been a Democrat, we’d already see the howling begin. So Boehner turned out to be an opportunist–as Donny once put it, “Who could know?” (Heavy sarcasm)

  3. As a medical marijuana patient, l am glad to hear that marijuana is being recognized as the medicine it is. Having liver issues combined with rheumatoid arthritis and a spinal cost,unable to use nsaids or other pain medicine as most damages the liver. Marijuana fits the bill perfectly for me. Being able to use the medicine l was prescribed without being criminalized would be fantastic. I still work for a living and would not have to worry about losing my livelyhood for using my medicine.(l have not yet been able to as it remains a schedule one drug.l need my job and don’t want to take the chance so l live with the pain instead.) Thank you to all of you who are helping to free cannabis from the schedule one drug classification. For me it is safer than alcohol or Tylenol.

    1. Marijuana prohibition is a crime against humanity. We all wish you a speedy recovery.

  4. Make Boehner actually do something meaningful as a token of good faith. Years of opposition to the cause does not lend him credibility, it costs him credibility.

    Other than a mouthful of pretty words, what does he offer? He offers his words of support like pearls, but they are merely crumbs.

    1. Julian says “Let’s put the lime-light on former Speaker Boehner to promote fairly taxed and equitable marijuana law for his state of Ohio.”

      Thank you, Julian. Now there’s a practical suggestion. Hell of a start!

      Start walking that talk, Boehner! Let’s see you stand up to fascist Trumpism. Talk about Trump and Duterte, and Putin, and human rights.

      Be a goddamn American first, Boehner. Then come ask me if I am impressed. We’ll see.

      1. Boehner, sell marijuana legalization, not fascist Trumpism. Not Republicanism, which has become one and the same with fascist Trumpism.

        Otherwise, I will call bullshit.

  5. Yeah John, money has a way of persuading people to change their minds.

    Maybe he has switched from booze to weed? Maybe he is a longtime closet cannabis user? Who the hell knows? It’s on you, John. You know. John, this is only good for the cannabis community if you flip politicians over from being prohibitionist, being neutral or becoming pro-legalization.

    It’s big money to sit on the Board. Yeah, everybody wants to be in charge of the money. If you’re taking what are you giving–quid pro quo?

    When’s the next CannaSpecial update with John and others on television? H, NatGeo, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC and FoxNews wanna step up to the pro-legalization and air some shows in the near future. This is the support just before July legalization implementation, to make that jump.

    Let’s get John and Bill and whomever back on camera, and let them ham it up for legalization. Let’s keep of list of politicians they flip to legalization or turn neutral to it.

    I sure hope they are worth it.

    At my thankless deadendshitjob that few other people would stoop to do I’ll n-e-v-e-r see that kind of money–ever. Keep on smiling.

    1. Yeah… So Boehner is making money off legal weed. That doesn’t prove he supports any of the principles upon which marijuana legalization is justified.

      State’s rights? That’s not working out so well in Red States these days, is it? The “tipping point” is starting to look more like a bending point, or a fracturing point. The good old USA is not so United as one might have hoped.

      I’m not willing to tell those who don’t live in legal states “Too bad, sorry about your luck. State’s rights, you know.” No.

      If Boehner supports Trump, Boehner could make shit-loads of money off cannabis, and still not protect the very democracy upon which marijuana legalization depends.

      Getting rich doesn’t make one noble or principled. Have we learned nothing from being robbed blind by Traitor Trump?

      My bullshit detector is set to trigger when Republicans expect political points for using cannabis as a marketing tool for the Republican Party, which holds all the halls of power, but which will never legalize marijuana.

    1. “After closer examination of marijuana after leaving office…” Ha. So Boehner got stoned and offered some premium stock options. Looks like the marijuana economy is thriving.

      If the example for Republicans is “retire then fire it up” then let’s start with Pete Sessions.

  6. I can only assume that the main reason he is now part of The Board of Advisors for Acreage Holdings is because of his political connections. This could be a really good thing for those of us that want cannabis to be legal nationwide. Mr. Boehner surely has strong sway among the GOP elite so this could be an epic moment for our country 🙂

  7. Everyone knows we as humans desire being our own administrators,
    our own levelers, with the ability of using self control.
    Not everyone drinks and
    not every enjoys cannabis
    but a great number of people have never experienced using cannabis because of cannabis control
    But some how
    some way we all enjoy some form of recreation cocktail legally or illegally.

    There is no such thing as free , as to all the people who have gotten us to this date in history with cannabis control.

    Short and sweet

    Myself, am ecstatic, for at least having someone who knows their way around the federal side of cannabis control, who is now willing to help change the laws that surround us on cannabis control even if it is for money ,other wise know as a job.

    look at how many other people are only really doing “something” in life unless they are being paid.
    I cant work for free can you?

    He isn’t going to take on a position in such a manner as to destroy the company that hired him because for what they are going to be paying him , which the company isn’t going to be able to pay him unless they are making money so with his position helping with the reclassification of cannabis control is just smart business and the business opportunities are endless

    I say “ONWARD HO Welcome aboard”

    The time has come to grow up and proceed with all the help we can afford….lol because lets face it with out unity of the people who want to live sensibly with the choice of recreational cannabis control the industry companies cant grow to their fullest potential

    That would be the equivalent of buying tape that isn’t sticky , or unsealed cottage cheese because you forgot to check to see if it was sealed before you bought it , or the opti grab(The Jerk)
    it just wouldn’t be good business

    Like it or not in the end It is and will always be

    a business.

    as always

    thanks for reading


    1. chris,
      Maybe. Maybe not. We’ll see. Remember, Corporate America doesn’t have a highly reliable moral compass, to put it mildly.

      It drug tests for cannabis, even in legal states. It discriminates, it exploits, it pollutes, it overhypes and overbooks and underpays. It cheats on its taxes, and it blows off its regulations.

      It supports Trump, by and large. That’s not a badge of honor, it’s a badge of shame.

      So… We’ll see.

  8. Maybe Prohibition is illegal in the first place:

    “…nowhere in the federal Constitution is Congress given authority to regulate local matters concerning the health, safety, and morality of state residents. Known as police powers, such authority is reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment. Conversely, no state may enter into a treaty with a foreign government because such agreements are prohibited by the plain language of Article I to the Constitution.

    Many federalists, such as James Madison, argued that the Tenth Amendment was unnecessary because the powers of the federal government are carefully enumerated and limited in the Constitution. Because the Constitution does not give Congress, the president, or the federal judiciary the prerogative to regulate wholly local matters, Madison concluded that no such power existed and no such power would ever be exercised. However, British oppression had made the Founding Fathers fearful of unchecked centralized power. The Tenth Amendment was enacted to limit federal power. Although it appears clear on its face, the Tenth Amendment has not been consistently applied.” —

    1. It’s the difference between Law, and Justice.

      There’s Federal law, there’s state law, there’s Common Law… there’s even L.A. Law, and Murphy’s Law! The legal status of cannabis can, and does, vary, depending on where and who you are.

      To me, Justice goes deeper. Marijuana may or may not be legal; but marijuana prohibition is always unjust, in the extreme.

  9. The speaker is following the money. No altruism here. He could careless about sick people needing their medicine.

  10. Dozens of cannabis businesses in the USA? Of course he intends to make lots of money just like McConnel with hemp. It is all about money but watch out when Marijuana becomes “Marijuana made by Monsanto”

    1. Which is why we need to lobby local, state and federal reps to make cannabis “open source” and stop patenting the life which sustains us.
      We need to get involved politically and write resolutions like “Wheras Cannabis shall remain unprohibited, fairly taxed and open source…” to make sure all political parties represent our common desire for freedom.

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