Recreational-use marijuana to become legal in Oregon

Marijuana smoking, seed sharing and cannabis-themed rallies are among the ways Oregon residents plan to celebrate as recreational-use pot becomes legal in the fourth western US state on Wednesday.

Marijuana use purely for the sake of getting high is to become legal in the state from midnight on Tuesday, the first step in a voter-approved initiative that will usher in retail weed stores in 2016 like those operating in Washington state and Colorado.

Pot shops are also expected in 2016 in Alaska, where voters in November backed a similar legalization initiative. Pot use became legal in Alaska in February.

The new laws reflect a shifting legal landscape for a plant that remains illegal under federal law. Campaigns for legal pot have started in California and other states, and medical-use cannabis is now allowed in nearly half of US states.

"We are thrilled with the end of adult marijuana prohibition, but we are far from where we need to be," said Russ Belville, of pro-marijuana group NORML's Portland chapter.

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