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President Barack Obama on Thursday suggested that there are limits to how far the administration will go in sanctioning the use of marijuana, saying he did not believe legalization would provide economic benefits.

At an online town hall meeting in the East Room, Obama chose a question on marijuana that was not supposed to be included in the event, appearing to want to address the issue.

“No, I don’t think that is a good strategy for growing our economy,— he said of the prospect of legalizing use of the drug.

Earlier this month, Attorney General Eric Holder suggested a more lenient policy for dispensers of medical marijuana than that which prevailed under President George W. Bush, indicating the administration would not prosecute providers who complied with state law, even if they were in violation of federal law.

Obama also indicated during the session that the administration is readying new aid to automakers, but said the companies would have to make significant changes in the way they do business.

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