"Do you support the legalization of marijuana?" Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) asked Lynch at her confirmation hearing.
"Senator, I do not," she replied.
Sessions quoted a statement Obama gave to The New Yorker in January 2014. "I smoked pot as a kid," Obama had said. "And I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”
Lynch distanced herself from that view on the harms of marijuana.
"Well, senator I certainly don't hold that view and don't agree with that view of marijuana," she said. "I certainly think that 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's not the position of the Department of Justice currently to support the legalization, nor would it be the position should I be confirmed as attorney general," she continued.
Obama said in a YouTube interview last week that the federal government is "not going to spend a lot of resources" enforcing marijuana laws.
"My suspicion is that you're going to see other states look at this," he said.