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 BoehnerFeehery: The next Republican wave is coming Rift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power 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 BoehnerFeehery: The next Republican wave is coming Rift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power 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 WarrenWarren calls on big banks to follow Capital One in ditching overdraft fees Crypto firm top executives to testify before Congress Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker won't seek reelection MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory GardnerCory GardnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to tackle omicron risks with new travel rules Gun control group alleges campaign finance violations in lawsuit against NRA Colorado Supreme Court signs off on new congressional map MORE (R-Colo.) introduced legislation last week that would allow states to regulate marijuana without federal interference.

President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth MORE’s attorney general, Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Those predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold 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.