Nov. 14 - It's good news for marijuana growers as Colorado voters approve its sale, but bad news for state regulators who have to deal with contradicting U.S. federal law. Sarah Charlton reports.
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Last week Colorado defied federal law and became one of two U.S. states legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
Despite legal hurdles, hundreds of budding businesses are now hoping to cash in on what's been dubbed the "green rush".
SOUNDBITE: STEFAN WONNACOTT, CO-OWNER/OPERATOR OF, A GROWER AND DISPENSARY OF LEGALIZED MEDICAL MARIJUANA, SAYING (English) :
"This has been legal here in one way or another since 2000, 2001, so we haven't seen those increases in drug use in youth, or violence, and things like that. So there's always going to be people who don't agree with us, who don't like what we're doing."
Not all Colorado residents are sold on the issue.
The vote to legalize the possession and sale of the drug was only passed with a 6 percent margin.
And the measure is in conflict with the federal government, which classifies cannabis as illegal.
But district attorney Stan Garnett believes the change in law won't impact public safety.
SOUNDBITE: STAN GARNETT, DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR BOULDER COUNTY, SAYING (English):
"I want to focus on violent crime, on sexual crime, on domestic violence and on serious economic crime, gang crime, and organized crime, those are the issues that I need to focus on, and getting marijuana out of the law enforcement realm only helps us do a better job on the things that the public really needs to be protected on."
Under strict regulation, the first recreational cannabis stores will open in 2014.