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 BoehnerBoehner says it's Democrats' turn for a Tea Party movement House Republicans find silver lining in minority Alaskan becomes longest serving Republican in House history 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 BoehnerBoehner says it's Democrats' turn for a Tea Party movement House Republicans find silver lining in minority Alaskan becomes longest serving Republican in House history 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 WarrenHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Biden, Sanders edge Trump in hypothetical 2020 matchups in Fox News poll Omar controversies shadow Dems at AIPAC MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Overnight Defense: Trump to reverse North Korea sanctions imposed by Treasury | Move sparks confusion | White House says all ISIS territory in Syria retaken | US-backed forces report heavy fighting | Two US troops killed in Afghanistan Overnight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all MORE (R-Colo.) introduced legislation last week that would allow states to regulate marijuana without federal interference.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' MORE’s attorney general, Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMueller's investigation ends, but divisive political circus will continue Mueller delivers report to Justice, ending investigation Trump says 'people will not stand' for Mueller 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.