Marijuana smokers get nod to light up in Colorado as pot legalized
Hickenlooper's signature, largely a formality, made Colorado the second U.S. state after Washington to legalize recreational pot use, and put it on a possible collision course with the federal government - which calls marijuana an illegal drug. "Voters were loud and clear on Election Day," Hickenlooper said in a statement released by his office. "We will begin working immediately with the General Assembly and state agencies to implement Amendment 64." The ballot measure, approved by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent, amends Colorado's constitution to legalize the personal use and possession of up to an ounce (28 grams) of pot by adults
21 and over. It also allows users to grow up to six plants at home. Hickenlooper, a Democrat who had opposed the amendment but said he would respect the will of voters, had been required by law to issue the executive order, or "official declaration of the vote," within 30 days of certification by Colorado's secretary of state on Dec. 6.
His move, more than three weeks before the deadline, put the amendment into immediate effect without the pre-planned hoopla seen in Washington state last week when pot users organized a downtown Seattle public weed fest to begin the moment marijuana became legal there.
Eighteen U.S. states and the District of Columbia
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