updated 11/4/2009 11:04:43 AM ET 2009-11-04T16:04:43

The Colorado ski town of Breckenridge has voted overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana.

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Early returns Tuesday night showed the proposal winning with 72 percent of the vote. The measure would allow adults over 21 to have up to 1 ounce of marijuana.

The measure is largely symbolic because pot possession remains a state crime for people without medical clearance.

But supporters said they wanted to send a message to local law enforcement to stop busting small-time pot smokers.

The vote comes as communities nationwide are struggling with how to enforce pot laws at a time when medical marijuana has surged in popularity.

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