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Marijuana legalization: The blustery crosscurrents of change

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Ted S. Warren/AP/File

(Read caption) A medical marijuana plant is shown at a dispensary in Seattle in November last year.

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When it comes to marijuana legalization, the pot-scented winds of change are blustery. It's sometimes hard to read the prevailing winds.

Eighteen states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical use. New Hampshire looks likely to be come No. 19. Last November, voters in Colorado and Washington took legalization a step further by approving the use of cannabis for recreational use.

But the new Colorado law allows every municipality to regulate retail sales of marijuana for recreational use – or opt out. On Thursday, some 60 residents turned out for a Colorado Springs City Council meeting held to give residents an opportunity to share their views. And if this meeting is any indication, the debate on marijuana legalization continues at the local level.

The Gazette in Colorado Springs reported:

"Selling marijuana in retail stores could lead to more traffic crashes and fatalities, said Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey. On the other hand, selling marijuana could boost the economy with jobs and sales tax revenue. For every point there was a counterpoint as residents in a standing-room only hall waited patiently to speak."

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