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 BoehnerTrump adviser expected to leave White House, join Juul The Hill's 12:30 Report: McGahn inflames Dem divisions on impeachment Amash storm hits Capitol Hill 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 BoehnerTrump adviser expected to leave White House, join Juul The Hill's 12:30 Report: McGahn inflames Dem divisions on impeachment Amash storm hits Capitol Hill 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 break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights Harris seeks Iowa edge with army of volunteers MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenate Republicans running away from Alabama abortion law Frustrated GOP senators want answers from Trump on Iran Graham: Trump officials not adequately briefing on Iran threat MORE (R-Colo.) introduced legislation last week that would allow states to regulate marijuana without federal interference.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE’s attorney general, Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHouse Democrats leave empty chair for McGahn at hearing MSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump Chris Wallace: AG Barr 'clearly is protecting' Trump 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.