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 BoehnerLongtime House parliamentarian to step down Five things we learned from this year's primaries Bad blood between Pelosi, Meadows complicates coronavirus talks 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 BoehnerLongtime House parliamentarian to step down Five things we learned from this year's primaries Bad blood between Pelosi, Meadows complicates coronavirus talks 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 WarrenBiden's fiscal program: What is the likely market impact? Warren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenate Republicans face tough decision on replacing Ginsburg What Senate Republicans have said about election-year Supreme Court vacancies Chamber of Commerce endorses McSally for reelection MORE (R-Colo.) introduced legislation last week that would allow states to regulate marijuana without federal interference.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE’s attorney general, Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump's policies on refugees are as simple as ABCs Ocasio-Cortez, Velázquez call for convention to decide Puerto Rico status White House officials voted by show of hands on 2018 family separations: report 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.