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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Colorado Recreational Pot Becomes Legal January 1st

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Denver (CNN) -- Colorado will begin allowing recreational marijuana sales on January 1 to anyone age 21 or over.


Residents will be able to buy marijuana like alcohol -- except the cannabis purchase is limited to an ounce, which is substantial enough to cost about $200 or more.


It's a big moment: Colorado will become the first state in the nation to open recreational pot stores and become the first place in the world where marijuana will be regulated from seed to sale. Pot, by the way, is the third most popular recreational drug in America, after alcohol and tobacco, according to the marijuana reform group NORML.


Voters wanted this. And the law is now in the Colorado constitution after 65% of voters said yes to legalizing recreational marijuana.


Colorado wasn't the only state to OK this in November 2012. Voters in Washington also said yes, but that state won't open marijuana retail outlets until later in 2014.


There are the usual "legalize it" arguments about how pot is less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco and how legalization would save taxpayers $10 billion yearly on enforcing the prohibition.


Then there's the reality we all know: There will be a tax bonanza to public treasuries.


Retail weed will have a 25% state tax -- plus the usual state sales tax of 2.9% -- making recreational pot one of the most heavily taxed consumer products in Colorado. Some communities are adding even more taxes to the product.


The additional revenue will initially amount to $67 million a year, with $27.5 million of it designated to build schools, state tax officials say.

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