12 Jan Republican Former House Speaker John Boehner reaches new lows in cannabis cable ad
On Wednesday, cable viewers were surprised to see Former House Speaker John Boehner hawking his services in a cannabis infomercial.
Some were so surprised they tweeted about it. Which is how the story got picked up by news outlets.
In classic infomercial style, the video instructs TV viewers to text a number that flashes on the screen. Anyone who texted the number was sent a link to a webpage hosted by “the National Institute for Cannabis Investors.” (The Institute bills itself as a “global cannabis-investing news service.”)
You can read a transcript of Boehner’s scripted investing advice. Boiled down, his advice is essentially: Invest every dollar you have in the global cannabis industry, because it’s minting new mega-millionaires every day, and you don’t want to miss out.
The cable ad does not mention that Boehner will personally profit from the rapidly growing industry he’s urging you to invest in.
Boehner joined Acreage Holdings, a multi-state cannabis production and retail corporation, last summer. His announcement surprised many people. Because previously, the politician Boehner had publicly stated he was “unalterably opposed” to marijuana legalization. Then suddenly, as a private citizen, he was all for it.
During his tenure as one of the nation’s most powerful politicians, with the power to change cannabis laws and criminal justice policies, he sat by while thousands of people went to jail for marijuana possession. The people behind bars for pot were mostly people of color.
As soon as Boehner was out of office, he changed his mind. He’d realized he could make a lot of money, he explains.
In this video, Boehner addresses what’s called his “change of heart.” (This phrase seems generous, because it implies Boehner has a heart.) “Let’s address the elephant in the room,” reads the scripted dialog.
Boehner defends his record.
“Back then, like a lot of folks, I was getting faulty information,” he says, reading his lines.
He informs his audience with basic information about cannabis. The information has been widely available for many years.
So according to Boehner’s explanation, the reason he let all those innocent people go to jail was because he never bothered to research the matter.