John A. Boehner, the speaker of the House from 2011 to 2015, reversed a long-held stance against marijuana legalization on Wednesday, saying on Twitter that “my thinking on cannabis has evolved.”
Mr. Boehner, a Republican leader who in 2011 told a constituent he was “unalterably opposed” to legalization, joined the board of advisers of Acreage Holdings, a cannabis corporation that operates in 11 states.
While the announcement might be viewed as a sign that cannabis is becoming a big business that can afford to ally with prominent names from the world of politics, Mr. Boehner cast it as a genuine change of heart.
In a statement, he and William F. Weld, the former Massachusetts governor, who also joined the Acreage Holdings board, said “the time has come for serious consideration of a shift in federal marijuana policy.”
“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,” Mr. Boehner wrote on Twitter, referring to how the federal government classifies marijuana.
The statement was no surprise in the case of Mr. Weld, a supporter of legalization who ran on the Libertarian…