The swamp smells like weed, and John Boehner is scheduled to address the first ever "American Cannabis Summit: Countdown to Legalization."
The former House Speaker got into pot because he said medical marijuana could help combat the opioid epidemic and help veterans with PTSD. Now Boehner headlines an event that promises to offer “a roadmap for staking your claim to this 'green gold rush.'”
Boehner isn’t the one slinging dope, and he isn’t even a registered lobbyist. He signed on as a strategic adviser with lobbying shop Squire Patton Boggs and a board member with the pro-pot group Acreage Holdings, but a search of the Senate Lobbying Database shows no registration.
To borrow from the Center for Responsive Politics, he is a member of the “not-quite-a-lobbyist ranks.” This means he doesn’t have to file quarterly reports. In order to retain that status, Boehner has to limit his official interactions with Capitol Hill. Make no mistake, though, Boehner knows Washington, and Boehner has already been shadow-lobbying.
Just look at how the Cannabis Summit introduces him: “He's connected on Capitol Hill. He golfs with the President. And he knows all the major players in the cannabis industry. Speaker Boehner has the inside track on the future of this green gold rush. And he wants to hear from you!”
Whether or not Boehner wants to hear from the stoned masses is difficult to evaluate. He held the gavel tightly, was always impeccably dressed, and ruled with a nicotine-stained fist. Boehner has ditched the jacket and the tie though. In retirement, he opts for a buttoned up Oxford instead. In short, Boehner has loosened up. Apparently, so have his standards.