It’s been a weird day for Republican Speakers of the House. First, Paul Ryan decided he would not seek re-election this year. Then his predecessor, Ohio Republican John Boehner, announced that he was joining the board of a medical marijuana company.
And the internet was stoked — or is that toked? — at Boehner’s public reversal of his long-standing opposition to the legalization of marijuana. “Looks like John Boehner picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue,” joked conservative commentator John Podhoretz.
“My thinking on cannabis has evolved,” tweeted Boehner, who served as House Speaker from 2011 until his resignation from Congress in 2015. “I’m convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities.”
I’m joining the board of #AcreageHoldings because my thinking on cannabis has evolved. I’m convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities. @AcreageCannabis https://t.co/f5i9KcQD0W
— John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) April 11, 2018
Acreage Holdings, a multi-state cannabis company that seeks to “make cannabis available to any patient who can benefit from safe and reliable access,” on Wednesday announced that Boehner and another Republican, former Massachusetts governor William Weld, would join its board.
Needless to say, the internet was surprised by news that Boehner, a longtime cigarette smoker and fierce opponent of relaxing cannabis-related legislation, had reversed his position on the issue.
“Well color me shocked. John Boehner, who fought leagalization [sic] is now in the pot business. Loss for words,” tweeted one commenter.
Others noted that Boehner and Weld’s public support for medical marijuana moves the two Republicans to the left of many mainstream Democrats on the issue. “Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo, who’ve been having a years-long pissing match over who is the True Progressive, are now to the right of John Boehner on pot,” wrote one.
Others questioned the timing of the news. “John Boehner should have waited till 4/20 to make this announcement,” tweeted one, referring to the annual day for pro-marijuana advocacy.
See some of the other reactions below.
Looks like John Boehner picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) April 11, 2018
Well color me shocked. John Boehner, who fought leagalization is now in the pot business. Loss for words. https://t.co/uV2tfsYH79
— Headerop (@Headerop1) April 11, 2018
All the brahs in prison on weed charges hearing former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner’s first public remarks on behalf of the marijuana industry… pic.twitter.com/JfwhsS39LM
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) April 11, 2018
John Boehner wants to get richer off an industry he's spent his career throwing people in jail for.https://t.co/VrUEcfKcjh
— Shorts Boy ???? +???? (@CallMeShortsBoy) April 11, 2018
wtf I love John Boehner now https://t.co/q8ermSF6kx
— Jason Linkins (@dceiver) April 11, 2018
maybe he can start smoking jazz cigarettes with John Boehner https://t.co/8FXSetGqRO
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) April 11, 2018
Yeah, so John Boehner is officially more progressive on marijuana than most Democratic members of Congress are. https://t.co/uXFgw2Qfrs
— Tom Angell ???????? (@tomangell) April 11, 2018
Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo, who’ve been having a years-long pissing match over who is the True Progressive, are now to the right of John Boehner on pot https://t.co/G5ZsGZ70uE
— Good Idea Dave (@DaveCoIon) April 11, 2018
I’ll be honest I would probably get blazed with John Boehner
— nuanced opinion guy (@charles_kinbote) April 11, 2018
Live footage of John Boehner pic.twitter.com/kCEHvZcxXl
— Melinda Byerley (@MJB_SF) April 11, 2018
Paul Ryans Stepping down, John Boehner's selling pot, whats next? the #Jets actually pick a suitable franchise QB?
— Daniel Murray (@DanMurray11388) April 11, 2018
John Boehner should have waited till 4/20 to make this announcement. https://t.co/5iLDqvD1yv
— Dennis DiClaudio (@dennisdiclaudio) April 11, 2018
Marijuana will, no doubt, make some people a fortune. When I was younger I was told to "follow the money" when it came to political opinions, voting, and issues that are supported. Still true today with John Boehner. Easy to "evolve" when you're collecting a check.
— Dr. Julie Gurner (@drgurner) April 11, 2018