Legal pot sales begin today in Washington state
BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Washington became the second state today to allow people to buy marijuana legally in the U.S. without a doctor's note as customers eager to be the first to buy pot lined up outside stores.
People began purchasing marijuana at 8 a.m. at Bellingham's Top Shelf Cannabis, one of two stores in the city north of Seattle that started selling pot as soon as it was allowed under state regulations. Several dozen people waited outside before the store opened.
The first three customers in line were residents of Kansas, in Bellingham for their grandfather's 84th birthday. Sarah Gorton, 24, of Abilene, Kan., came with her younger brother Robbie, as well as her boyfriend.
"It's just a happy coincidence and an opportunity we're not going to have for a long time," said Sarah Gorton, a 24-year-old with dreadlocks and homemade jewelry. "I'm really thrilled to be a part of something that I never thought would happen."
The start of legal pot sales in Washington marks a major step that's been 20 months in the making.
Washington and Colorado stunned much of the world by voting in November 2012 to legalize marijuana for adults older than 21, and to create state-licensed systems for growing, selling and taxing the pot. Sales began in Colorado on Jan. 1.