Former GOP Speaker John Boehner sued for allegedly stealing data from pot lobbying group
Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) [AFP]

Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner backed out of a deal to join a marijuana lobbying group after he allegedly stole its data and talking points to form another weed-themed lobbying group of his own, the New York Post reports.

"The former House speaker signed an agreement in March 2018 to become co-chair of the 10 Campaign — a weed legalization group that takes its name from the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution which establishes states’ rights, according to the suit filed in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia," the Post reports.

"Less than a year later in February 2019, however, Boehner announced he was launching a new group called the National Cannabis Roundtable, revealing he had tapped Kathleen Sebelius, the former Health and Human Services Secretary, as a co-chair."

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The 10 Campaign’s founder and executive director, James Pericola, accused Boehner’s group of cutting him out of its profits despite being nothing more than a “repackaged version” of his own.

“Boehner served to legitimize the industry … and paved the way for other politicians, elected officials and influencers to come to the table after years of opposition to cannabis legislation,” the suit alleges. “And he did it by intentionally misleading Pericola.”

Meanwhile, in Boehner's home state, a new study shows recreational marijuana in Ohio could mean up to $375 million in annual tax revenue.