California governor and former film star Arnold Schwarzenegger has told a magazine that marijuana is not a drug.
Mr Schwarzenegger has dealt with recent California wildfires
The ex-Hollywood actor said in a GQ interview that he had not taken drugs, even though he was shown smoking a joint in 70s documentary Pumping Iron.
"That is not a drug. It's a leaf," he told the magazine. He added: "My drug was pumping iron, trust me."
However, the governor's spokesman later told the Associated Press that the comments had been taken out of context.
Aaron McLear said the star of Terminator had been speaking in a light-hearted way.
"Of course the governor understands marijuana is a drug," he said.
In the interview with former British newspaper editor Piers Morgan for the December issue of GQ, Mr Schwarzenegger also refused to condemn politicians who declined to answer questions on taking drugs.
"What would you rather have? A politician taking stuff and not saying, but making the best decisions and improving things?
"Or a politician who names all the drugs he or she has taken but makes lousy decisions for the country?" he asked.
He said a politician's job was "to do what's best for the people and to improve the country, the economy, the environment".
"Why should I care if a politician takes sleeping pills every night so long as he can do his job?"
Blair 'great leader'
Mr Schwarzenegger, who recently met Conservative leader David Cameron in the US to discuss green issues and gun crime, went on to name former prime minister Tony Blair as one of the greatest leaders in history.
Mr Blair was ranked alongside former South African president Nelson Mandela, ex-US presidents John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Mr Schwarzenegger was also asked about his opinion of current US president, George Bush.
"I would say that I was... very fond of his father. I worked for President Bush Sr and he was a great man.
"I think his son does some great things and there are some other things I don't agree with."
He said he would consider standing for the presidency if the law was changed that prevented him from entering the race because he was not born in the US.
"Then I could think about it, yes. And go after it. I am always interested in challenges and risk."