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Denver residents vote to legalize pot for adults

DENVER (AP) — Residents of the Mile High City have voted to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults. Authorities, though, said state possession laws will be applied instead.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday, 54 percent, or 56,001 voters, cast ballots for the ordinance, while 46 percent, or 48,632 voters, voted against it.

Under the measure, residents over 21 years old could possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

"We educated voters about the facts that marijuana is less harmful to the user and society than alcohol," said Mason Tvert, campaign organizer for SAFER, or Safer Alternatives For Enjoyable Recreation. "To prohibit adults from making the rational, safer choice to use marijuana is bad public policy."

Bruce Mirken of the Marijuana Policy Project, based in Washington, D.C., said he hoped the approval will launch a national trend toward legalizing a drug whose enforcement he said causes more problems than it cures.