WEST CHESTER, Ohio — For decades, John Boehner was against the use of marijuana in any form.
But since he left Congress and did some more research, Boehner has joined a company promoting medical marijuana.
“There’s a lot of evidence that it works,” he said.
Boehner sat down for an interview with WCPO while attending a golf outing fundraiser at Wetherington County Club for the Boys and Girls Club of West Chester Monday. The former House speaker now sits on the advisory board of Acreage Holdings a cannabis company working in 11 states, in addition to his full-time job with the Washington law firm Squire Patton Boggs.
He said the stories of sick children being helped by medical marijuana moved him.
“When you look at kids with epilepsy … they’re taking the non-psychotic part of this plant and reducing the number of seizures they have,” Boehner said.
Boehner also had conversations about medical marijuana with men and women who served in the military.
“Even with chronic pain, or veterans with PTSD, they ought to be able to have access to medical marijuana because we believe it actually helps them,” he said.
Boehner said he believes more research is needed on the issue, but universities won’t touch it because marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug. So it’s up to states.
“When you look at the states where medical marijuana is pretty prevalent, the use of opioids is down 25 percent,” he said.
Even for recreational use, Boehner said the federal government should get out of the way. He said he no longer believes marijuana should be classified as a Schedule 1 drug.
“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 said. “That’s clearly up to them.”