WASHINGTON – It’s no secret former House Speaker John Boehner was no fan of marijuana back when he was wielding the most powerful gavel in Washington. But now that he’s on the board of cannabis behemoth Acreage Holdings, it may be surprising to many to hear the former speaker now taunting cannabis advocates, proponents and medicinal marijuana patients alike.
Just last month 68% of Americans reported (once again) they support legalizing marijuana – even some 90% of Republicans in Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky report being fine with normalizing weed – but Boehner isn’t buying it as a winning electoral issue.
When The News Station bumped into Boehner at the Capitol, we asked the former speaker and current cannabis company board member, “What do you think of marijuana as a winning election issue in the midterms?”
“Eh, good luck,” Boehner replied.
The former speaker’s response is at odds with what marijuana advocates, congressional proponents and even the plant’s biggest opponents – who have now failed to stop the legalization of recreational marijuana in 19 states, the nation’s capital, numerous U.S. territories and tribes — have to say.
“There is nothing that will generate more enthusiasm from voters under 35,” Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-founder and current co-chair Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) told The News Station after this fall’s elections. “I think the message is: Embrace it and run with it.”
Still, from Boehner’s perch on the board of Acreage Holdings, he’s expecting as much as a $20 million pay day when marijuana is eventually legalized in the U.S.
While he was speaker of the House, Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Shep Smith were top stars at Fox News. Nowadays they’ve left or been pushed out. In their place is a more populist lineup, including Tucker Carlson — now the cable outlet’s top star – who just two years back called Boehner a “pig” and “disgusting” for his work in marijuana.
It’s truly a new Washington these days. But with polls showing marijuana’s popularity across the political spectrum, The News Station asked the former speaker why the plant needed “good luck” at the polls. It is more popular than both political parties, after all.
“You’re not buying it?”
“Oh,” Boehner sighed, “I know better than to get in the middle of that.”