Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told Cincinnati station WCPO Monday that he thinks recreational marijuana should be regulated by states, and that states that allow medical marijuana have seen myriad positive benefits.
“If the states decide they want to do this, this is up to them, but I am not going to be an advocate on what the states should and should not do,” Boehner told WCPO. “That’s clearly up to them.”
Boehner’s position has been echoed in the highest levels of government lately, as President Donald Trump said Friday that he will “probably end up supporting” a bill that would buffer state laws on marijuana from federal interference.
The bill, spearheaded by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), would give states leeway to make their own decisions on both recreational and medical marijuana policy.
On the subject of medical marijuana, Boehner was more loquacious during his interview. “There’s a lot of evidence that it works,” he said, referring specifically to children with epilepsy and veterans with chronic pain or PTSD.
He added that relaxing the rules around recreational marijuana could provide an alternative to more dangerous drugs. “When you look at the states where medical marijuana is pretty prevalent, the use of opioids is down 25 percent,” Boehner said.
Since leaving Congress in 2015, Boehner has flipped his position on marijuana, even joining the board of a company that promotes the use of medical marijuana.