Now that marijuana is legal in around 60 percent of the United States, and there is a growing body of research that suggests the herb is beneficial in the treatment of a wide range of health conditions, the overall attitude, which was previously against the legalization of marijuana, has shifted and the majority of citizens now believe “Satan’s Spinach” should be made legal. This includes John Boehner. The Republican is now a part of the cannabis industry, recently joining the Board of Advisors of a firm called Acreage Holdings. These days, the former lawmaker is fighting to get the herb eliminated from the Controlled Substances Act.
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“There’s a lot of evidence that it works,” he said during an interview with WCPO, adding that it was the stories about sick children that got him to change his tune on marijuana.
“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 said.
Marijuana, even for medicinal purposes, is illegal at the federal level. In fact, the U.S government still considers the plant a Schedule I drug, which means it has “no currently acceptable medical use.” This listing on the Controlled Substance Act makes it difficult for the scientific community to research the potential therapeutic benefits of this plant. Even in states where it is legal, federal marijuana laws create hardships.
One group to experience its fair share of suffering because of pot prohibition is veterans. Their government benefits do not allow them to use marijuana for any reason, despite research and personal cases showing that it can be more effective than prescription opioids.
“Even with chronic pain, or veterans with PTSD, they ought to be able to have access to medical marijuana because we believe it actually helps them,” Boehner said.
“When you look at the states where medical marijuana is pretty prevalent, the use of opioids is down 25 percent.”
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But even when it comes to treating marijuana like beer, allowing it to become part of legitimate commerce for adults, Boehner wants to see prohibition brought to an end.
“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,” Boehner said. “That’s clearly up to them.”
There is presently a proposal in the Senate intended to do just that. President Trump said last week that he would “probably” sign the bill if Congress can find a way to get it on his desk.