Image: AFP

Thursday morning was the dawn of a new era for pot-smoking Washingtonians, as state law finally approved the personal possession of up to one ounce – or roughly 28g – of marijuana, making it the first US state to fully legalize the drug.

Washington voters shocked the nation last month by voting for Initiative 502 (I-502), which legalizes the possession of up to one ounce (28g) of marijuana for personal use. Under the initiative, all penalties for marijuana possession and use have also been abolished.

Many users said they would be gathering around various public areas across the state to celebrate the landmark ruling – by breaking the law. Public marijuana use is still illegal, but the fine for smoking weed in public carries the same fine as publicly consuming alcohol.

I-502, approved by a 55.5 percent majority, will make Washington the first US state to officially legalize recreational marijuana use in the US. State penalties for possession will be eliminated, and excise taxes like those applied to alcohol and tobacco sales will be enacted.

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