During her confirmation hearing on Jan. 28, attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch said she does not support the legalization of marijuana, and disagrees with President Barack Obama’s opinions on the drug.
“Do you support the legalization of marijuana?" Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions asked Lynch during the hearing.
“Senator, I do not," Lynch responded.
Sessions then quoted a 2014 New Yorker interview with Obama that touched, in part, on his use of marijuana when he was young. Obama told the magazine that he viewed the drug as a “bad habit and a vice,” and maintained that he doesn’t believe it to be more dangerous than alcohol.
“I certainly don't hold that view and don't agree with that view of marijuana as a substance,” Lynch said when asked by Sessions whether or not she agreed with the Obama's stance on the drug. “I think the president was speaking from his personal experience and personal opinion, neither of which I'm able to share. But I can tell you that not only do I not support legalization of marijuana, it is not the position of the Department of Justice currently to support legalization, nor would it be the position if I were confirmed as attorney general."
Marijuana use is still considered a federal offense, despite recreational use being legal in Colorado and Washington. Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia will soon legalize the drug.
With support growing for marijuana legalization nationwide, Lynch’s stance is one that is becoming rare as time passes. According to ThinkProgress, more than 50 percent of Americans support legalization, including a large number of law enforcement officials. Additionally, more than 75 percent of doctors in the country said they would prescribe the drug for “health purposes.”