Overall, the political divide over marijuana legalization has shown Republicans opposed to more liberal policies while Democrats are calling, or at least ranting words, for legalization and decriminalization.
But the political spectrum is not static, and attitudes on the right are changing despite decades of anti-cannabis rhetoric.
A new poll from the National Cannabis Roundtable shows that “there is a massive shift in opinion, and it is clear that Republicans have very positive attitudes toward legal cannabis,” said former Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, now a Republican. Member of the Board of Directors of the Cannabis Round Table (NCR).
The poll, conducted by Trump’s top Republican and pollster Fabrizio, Lee & Co., showed that 73% of Republicans agree that legal cannabis businesses should have the same rights as other legal businesses, and 76% believe that if the state legalizes cannabis, the federal government should not fight the state.
“We’ll likely see continued support for legal cannabis next November when Republicans in at least six states and counties vote on legalization and other issues,” Gardner said. “And that’s why it’s time for Congress to enact a rationale for cannabis reform this year, starting with major legislation like SAFE Banking and CLIMB.”
Gardner isn’t the first Republican politician to jump from Capitol Hill into the cannabis industry.
John Boehner was known for opposing marijuana legalization when he was the Republican Speaker of the House, saying he was “categorically opposed” to the legalization of marijuana.
Perhaps that was before he realized how much money there was in the industry. These days he is a supporter of cannabis as a member of Acreage Holdings (ACRHF) board. The New York Times reported that his salary day could be as high as $20 million. If Congress passed cannabis at the federal level.
After leaving his position, Boehner went on to join Acreage and became the honorary president of the National Cannabis Round Table, the organization that conducted the above survey, in February 2019.
Boehner is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with Washington lobbyist James Pricola alleging that the former congressman returned to a deal to create a lobbying project in the cannabis industry and instead took ideas from their meeting for his own projects.
Boehner’s side asked the D.C. Supreme Court to overturn the lawsuit filed in May, saying the ideas discussed at the meeting were not trade secrets and had “has been made public for more than a decade,” Reuters reported.
Cannabis is big business
Boehner isn’t the only former Republican politician to have made the leap into an industry he fiercely opposed while in a position to make a positive difference.
NCR spokesman Terry Holt told The Times that Boehner “sees an investment opportunity in cannabis.” “Who wouldn’t want to get involved?”
Bonner told NBC News that his new marijuana position isn’t a purely for-profit motive.
“No, no, no, no, no, no. No,” Boehner He told a reporter When asked about his motives. “I kind of found myself, like a lot of Americans starting to look at this differently as states started agreeing to this one by one.”
The K Street revolving door that saw former politicians get comfortable jobs as lobbyists once they became unelectable was occupied.
Both former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and former Representative Joseph Crowley (D-NY) have been appointed to the board of New York cannabis company Northern Swan Holdings, although no marijuana bill was introduced during their time as elected officials .
Well, Crowley did, once he faced a primary challenge from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who ousted the old politician.
Former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and ex-Rep. Carlos Corbelo (R-FL) also jumped from Capitol Hill to the K Street marijuana lobby, according to Politico.