Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Nixon: Support for legalizing marijuana use a racial issue

Nixon: Support for legalizing marijuana use a racial issue

Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner says he has had a change of heart on marijuana and will promote its nationwide legalization.

"I'm convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities", he added. The corporation said Wednesday that former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, the running mate of Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson in 2016, had also been appointed to its advisory board.

"While we come at this issue from different perspectives and track records, we both believe the time has come for serious consideration of a shift in federal marijuana policy", Boehner and Weld said in a joint statement regarding their appointments to Acreage Holdings' board. "As members of the Board, Speaker Boehner and Governor Weld will bring an enormous, collective and unique set of experiences in government affairs, unmatched leadership and guidance to help drive Acreage towards its strategic mission".

"Acreage has a mission to make cannabis available to any patient who can benefit from safe and reliable access", Acreage Holdings' CEO Kevin Murphy said, in the press release.

Boehner said in a statement his position "has evolved" from opposing to supporting legalization of marijuana. A number of Republican lawmakers criticized a recent move by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to roll back a long-standing policy of federal noninterference with state-legal recreational marijuana laws. Boehner and Weld said the federal government's insistence on treating marijuana as a unsafe, easily abused drug has hampered research and restricted access through channels overseen by the federal government, like the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

Since his abrupt exit from Congress in 2015, Boehner has kept a relatively low profile, but during his days in Congress he made his penchant for wine well-known.

"I believe it's time for NY to follow the lead of eight other states and D.C. and legalize the recreational use of marijuana", Nixon said in the video.

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Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon has outlined her plans for legalizing marijuana in NY in a video, saying the state lags far behind some other states.

The actor, who turned 52 on Monday, then goes on to say 80 percent of the New Yorkers arrested for marijuana are black or Latino.

On Wednesday, Boehner said he'd been swayed by seeing the relief medical marijuana offered to some veterans struggling with PTSD and chronic pain. As governor, Weld advocated for medical marijuana legalization since 1992.

Descheduling cannabis would not legalize it nationally, but it would end federal marijuana enforcement and allow states to set their own marijuana policies without federal interference. A majority - on both sides of the aisle - support the legalization of marijuana, and the numbers are rapidly growing.

The American Legion, the largest veterans group in the country, found in a 2017 survey that veterans overwhelmingly support marijuana use for medical reasons.

Acreage has operations in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, Illinois, Massachusetts, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland.

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