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Marijuana Legalization Low-key by Design in Colorado

Marijuana plants
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

DENVER (AP) – Colorado wasn’t the first state to legalize marijuana, and officials wanted to keep the adoption of a voter-approved pot amendment low key.

Their plans worked perfectly Monday, when Gov. John Hickenlooper took a final procedural step to legalize marijuana on a blustery morning weeks before his deadline. He announced his declaration after the fact.

When Washington state became the first in the nation to legalize pot last week, celebrants lit up outside the Space Needle and other landmarks. Colorado saw only a handful of marijuana activists gather outside the state Capitol to smoke.

Both states prohibit smoking marijuana publicly but no one was arrested in either.

Washington’s marijuana enactment date was set by voters, setting up a public countdown. But in Colorado, the governor had flexibility on when to finalize the amendment.

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