On Monday, former Massachusetts Governor and US Attorney Bill Weld became the first person to challenge Donald Trump for the Republican 2020 presidential nomination. That might sound like bad news to cannabis advocates given Weld's contributions to the War on Drugs in the past, but his stance on marijuana is actually pretty progressive.
As a US Attorney during the Reagan administration, Weld was tasked with enforcing the War on Drugs in Massachusetts. Since then, Weld's position on drug policy - and cannabis prohibition in particular - has evolved significantly. In 2016 Weld voiced support for the ballot initiative that ultimately legalized recreational cannabis in Massachusetts. That same year, he and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson (R) pledged to repeal federal cannabis prohibition as part of their bid to become the first Libertarian ticket to win a presidential election.
Although his bid for the vice presidency was unsuccessful, Weld has kept up the fight for marijuana reform. Recently, he endorsed the STATES Act, calling that bill to end federal prohibition his "favorite piece of legislation that is on the Hill right now."
Weld also has a personal stake in the legalization movement. Last year, he joined the board of directors for the cannabis investment firm Acreage Holdings, which has also welcomed aboard former House Speaker John Boehner.
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