After big wins in 2012, pro-marijuana groups set their sights on other states
California and Oregon could be the next states to legalize marijuana, as pro-pot groups that spent decades campaigning seek to capitalize on 2012 victories in Washington and Colorado.
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The passage of the ballot measures in Colorado and Washington state in November allowed personal possession of the drug for people 21 and older. That same age group will be allowed to buy the drug at special marijuana stores under rules set to be finalized next year.Skip to next paragraph
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No other states have legalized marijuana, America's most widely used illicit drug, for recreational use. The drug remains illegal under federal law. Connecticut and Massachusetts also approved medical marijuana in 2012.
A big question mark hangs over whether the pro-legalization momentum could be slowed if the federal government takes an aggressive stance against the new laws.
The U.S. Department of Justice has been mostly silent on the issue. President Barack Obama said in a TV interview this month it did not make sense for the federal government to "focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that, under state law, that's legal."