Former Speaker John Boehner reverses on marijuana, while the Mormons do not
Here's two stories today from two different places, one unexpected, one very much not. In the unexpected department, a man who once said he was "unalterably opposed" to legal weed has apparently flipped his script. John Boehner, a former Republican Speaker of the House who was a strong voice against legalizing cannabis, has now joined the board of a cannabis company. Boehner will serve on the board of Acreage Holdings, and says that over the last 10-15 years, as Americans attitudes about the drug have changed, so have his. Cannabis advocates are hailing the change as a landmark. Boehner is not currently in office (and he's only serving on the board of the company -- he hasn't financially invested in it), but still, the fact that such a strong voice against legalization has made this move is a big signpost. Hopefully even more high profile voices against cannabis will also understand how legalization will benefit the country.
Not the Mormons, though. While most of America (and Utah itself) is in favor of legalization, the church is still definitely not, as the church signed a statement against legal cannabis in Utah. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (as the Mormons are called) actually signed on to another statement delivered by the Utah Medical Association, suggesting that medical marijuana would "compromise the health and safety of Utah communities."
Certainly no one can fault the Mormons for not wanting to use marijuana -- as part of their religious beliefs, the church even discourages the use of drugs like caffeine and alcohol, so it's not surprising to see that they're not interested in weed. What is surprising, however, is that the church believes it should be able to dictate what the rest of Utah does. If Utah wants legalization (and the majority of citizens there do), then the church can have its own opinions for sure, but it shouldn't stand in the way. Fortunately, the climate seems to continue to be moving towards legal cannabis across the country, so while the LDS is welcome to have its reservations, the rest of us will do as we see fit.