Washington State Voters passed a law last month that made marijuana legal. However, it will take a year before the rules for growing and selling it take effect.
OutFront tonight: CNN's Miguel Marquez has the story.
Pot smokers enter legal limbo in Washington, Colorado
The crowd at the base of the Space Needle in Seattle began counting down as midnight approached. It wasn't New Year's Day they were anticipating, but the moment that marijuana would become legal in Washington state.
As midnight hit, smokers hit their pipes and joints to celebrate.
Technically, what they were doing - smoking marijuana in public - was still a crime, but police looked the other way.
"It's amazing. I'm not a criminal anymore," one pot smoker said. "I can't go to jail for small amounts of marijuana. I'm free to be free."
But a legal haze still engulfed pot smokers Thursday, when possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults become legal, though growing and selling it remains a crime.
Initiative 502, passed last month by Washington voters, legalized recreational marijuana use starting December 6, but it will take a year before there are rules for growing and selling it.