Written By: David Downs, Leafly

With a record 63% of Americans now supporting cannabis legalization, federal prohibition could fall by the end of 2019 or early 2020, former US Speaker of the House John Boehner told a packed house at SXSW in Austin on Friday afternoon. The former GOP leader, who joined the board of cannabis company Acreage Holdings last year, delivered his remarks to festivalgoers at the Austin Hilton.

Boehner’s talk wasn’t all optimism and cheers, though. His presence drew a small protest organized by drug law reformers, and his session prompted occasional jeers. The protesters and critical audience members objected to Boehner, who actively supported the war on drugs and opposed legalization during his political career only to cash in on the booming cannabis industry now that others have done the hard work of reform.

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