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Washington state lights up as marijuana legalised

Published on Dec 7, 2012 5:47 AM
People light up under the lights of the Space Needle after the law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana went into effect in Seattle, Washington Dec 6, 2012. With Washington state the first in the nation legalizing marijuana possession for adult recreational use, Seattle's city attorney issued a stern warning on Wednesday to those waiting to celebrate - no pot puffing in public. -- PHOTO : REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Pot-smokers lit up in Washington state on Thursday as recreational marijuana became legal in a historic first for the United States (US), clouded by the fact that federal law still bans the practice.

Midnight pot parties were reported across the western US state as a new law came into force following a Nov 6 referendum to legalise private consumption of marijuana for recreational use.

Some 200 people gathered at midnight (4pm Singapore time) outside Seattle's appropriately-named Space Needle, a futuristic tower that dominates the skyline, to light up and celebrate their new-found freedom.

"You can smoke and not feel like a criminal. It's really no different than having a beer or something, in fact I think it's less dangerous," Calvin Lee told the local Kiro 7 television station.

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