Nightly News | December 06, 2012
>>> and after the war on drugs, almost a million marijuana-related arrests every year. possession is now legal in washington state . but the new marijuana law is now setting the stage for a new showdown involving the feds. we get the story from kristen dahlgren.
>> reporter: at seattle landmark, a celebration. as of midnight, washington state 's new law makes it legal for adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.
>> the first legal case .
>> reporter: the new system is modelled on alcohol laws . it is still illegal to drive impaired or possess pot under twenty-one, they issued verbal warnings only. you can legally possess one ounce, use it in private. but stores will not be licensed to sell it for recreational use for a year, without a prescription there is still no sale. recreational users are going to say where am i going to buy this marijuana if it is illegal to sell marijuana still?
>> reporter: federal law still prohibits the sale in any state.
>> the federal government may prosecute anyone who uses marijuana on federal land , parks's courthouses, and could go after the large-scale growers whether or n who supply the marijuana.
>> reporter: but attitudes towards pot may be changing, where just say no filling tv screens now shows pot as a suburban staple. in a new poll, americans favor it being legal, 41-51%.
>> i think cigarettes and alcohol are a lot more dangerous.
>> i personally don't do it or encourage my kids to do it.
>> reporter: next month, colorado will make possession there, where at least five other states are expected to take up the matter soon. more debates just getting fired up as washington state tries to navigate the still hazy logistics of legalizing pot. kristen dahlgren, los angeles .