Boehner: Federal government should not interfere in recreational marijuana decisions

Boehner: Federal government should not interfere in recreational marijuana decisions
© Greg Nash

Former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFive GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus Ex-lawmakers see tough job market with trade groups Veterans are left out of medical marijuana protections MORE (R-Ohio) said that he believes the federal government should not interfere with state decisions on recreational marijuana use.

"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," BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFive GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus Ex-lawmakers see tough job market with trade groups Veterans are left out of medical marijuana protections MORE told a Cincinnati TV station on Monday.  "That's clearly up to them."

The Republican lawmaker was once adamant about his opposition to legalizing marijuana, but said he reversed his position since leaving Congress in 2015.

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"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 told the outlet.

Medical marijuana is also very beneficial to veterans, he added.

“Even with chronic pain, or veterans with [post-traumatic stress disorder] PTSD, they ought to be able to have access to medical marijuana because we believe it actually helps them,” Boehner said.

States with medical marijuana use see a decrease in opioid addictions by 25 percent, Boehner told the TV station.

In April, he joined the board of a cannabis corporation to promote the use of medical marijuana.

He has been lobbying to have marijuana declassified from a Schedule 1 drug to help further research efforts. 

Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser Senate Dems rip Trump after Putin news conference Sanders: Trump should confront Putin over Mueller probe indictments MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenators urge DOJ to probe whether Russians posed as Islamic extremist hackers to harass US military families GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh Overnight Defense: VA pick breezes through confirmation hearing | House votes to move on defense bill negotiations | Senate bill would set 'stringent' oversight on North Korea talks MORE (R-Colo.) introduced legislation last week that would allow states to regulate marijuana without federal interference.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE’s attorney general, Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRyan: 'The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally' Conservatives moving to impeach Rosenstein soon: report Senators urge DOJ to probe whether Russians posed as Islamic extremist hackers to harass US military families MORE, is a vocal critic of marijuana legalization, however, and rolled back an Obama-era policy in January that gave states freedom to manage their own policies regarding recreational use.