Bush Conflicted on Pot Legalization

As the Supreme Court considers whether to legalize marijuana, President Bush appears to be of two minds on the issue.

He's against it, yet during the campaign he acknowledged he supports a state's right to decide the legality for its citizens.

"I believe each state can choose that decision as they so choose," Bush said in the fall of 1999.

At the time, marijuana supporters praised Bush.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer confirmed today that the president's position has not changed.

"The president is opposed to the legalization of marijuana, including for medicinal purposes, and he strongly supports the current federal law that's in place," Fleischer said today.

Marijuana is listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic under the federal Controlled Substances Act. According to the DEA, "Schedule 1 is reserved for the most dangerous drugs that have no recognized medical use."

States’ Rights Issue

But while the president supports the federal law that's in place, Fleischer said, he also thinks states should have the right to make the drug legal.

"The president's position is always on state referenda on things like that. That is a process question where the states have the right to follow their own processes," Fleischer told reporters at the White House. "But, as the president said, and as you know — it was discussed by campaign spokespeople with you directly during the campaign — the president opposes it; he supports federal law."

The Office of National Drug Control Policy considers marijuana the "most prevalent illegal drug in the Unted States." ABCNEWS' Ann Compton, John Berman and Brian Hartman contributed to this report.

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