The Answer is Obvious

The headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer posed a question for which it suggested the article below it had an answer:

“John Boehner was a longtime opponent of marijuana reform. Here’s what changed his mind”

Boehner, you will recall, is the original Agent Orange: the former Speaker of the House whose strange orange skin tone both alarmed and amused.

As Speaker, Boehner opposed the legalization of marijuana, writing to a constituent in 2011 that

I am unalterably opposed to the legalization of marijuana or any other FDA Schedule I drug.  I remain concerned that legalization will result in increased abuse of all varieties of drugs, including alcohol.”

 And he reiterated that opposition publicly as recently as 2015.

 But last week came news that Boehner, no longer Speaker of the House, has changed his mind because

I have concluded descheduling the drug is needed so that we can do research and allow the VA to offer it as a treatment option in the fight against the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our communities.

Not-so-coincidentally, Boehner was recently appointed to the board of a company called Acreage Holdings. The following is how Acreage Holdings describes itself on its web site:

Founded in 2014, Acreage Holdings (formerly known as High Street Capital Partners) has the most diverse portfolio of any company in the American cannabis industry, with cultivation, processing and dispensing operations across 11 states with plans to expand.

 Acreage has fostered strong partnerships with regulators, physicians and medical researchers with the aim of setting a new standard for the industry. As legislation and regulations evolve, Acreage is poised to build on its leadership position by expanding its footprint and capabilities in bringing safe, dosable and affordable cannabis to the market.

So it appears that we now have the answer to the question of what changed John Boehner’s mind about marijuana reform.

Money. Boehner’s principles apparently were for sale and Acreage Holdings paid his price.

Congratulations, Mr. Speaker.

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