SEATTLE - Washington state made history on Thursday as the first in the nation to legalize marijuana possession for adult recreational use, an occasion celebrated by dozens of users near Seattle's famed Space Needle tower amid blaring reggae music and a haze of pot smoke.

The public gathering defied a key provision of the state's landmark marijuana law, which forbids users from lighting up outside the privacy of their homes. And it underscored mixed messages that law enforcement officials have conveyed about the new statute.

Hours earlier, Seattle's city attorney issued a stern warning that pot puffing in public would not be tolerated and that violators faced citations carrying $100 fines.

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