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It's official: Governor makes marijuana legal in Colorado (+video)

On Monday, Colorado become the second state to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults. Washington also voted to legalize pot this November, and 18 states have decriminalized the drug. 

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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.

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Eighteen U.S. states and the District of Columbia have already removed criminal sanctions on the use of pot for medical purposes, but Colorado and Washington were the first to allow it for recreational use.

The moves by the two Western states came in defiance of federal law, and experts have said that the victories by pro-marijuana activists could be short-lived if they are fought by the U.S. Department of Justice.

FEDS 'REVIEWING' LAW

Colorado law will ultimately permit cannabis to be commercially grown and sold by state-licensed producers and distributors, and to be taxed, in a system modeled after those used in many states for alcohol sales.

For now, it remains illegal to buy or sell marijuana in any quantity in Colorado. But the governor ordered creation of a task force to recommend details of a sales-and-taxation plan for the state legislature to pass in the near future.

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