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Pot smokers gather under Seattle's Space Needle to celebrate legalization of marijuana

Jim Seida / NBC News

Garth Carroll, who also goes by the name of "Professor Gizmo," smokes what he describes as "good, greenhouse organic herb" at the base of the Space Needle in Seattle just before midnight on Wednesday, Dec. 5. Carroll is a medical marijuana patient and marijuana activist in Seattle.

About a hundred pot smokers gathered in the cold at Seattle's City Center on Wednesday night to celebrate the legalization of the possession of marijuana in Washington state.  The law, which took effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, does not allow marijuana to be smoked in public, but you wouldn't know it by watching the crowd.  As the clock stuck midnight, cheers erupted, followed by lighters igniting pipes and joints.

Jim Seida / NBC News

Dustin, left and Paul, both from Puyallup, Wash., and both of whom wouldn't give their last name, smoke marijuana beneath the Space Needle shortly after midnight on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, in Seattle, Wash. Dustin and Paul were two of about 100 pot smokers gathered in Seattle's City Center to celebrate the legalization of the possession of marijuana.

Even though it's still illegal to smoke marijuana in public in Washington, there was no sign of police presence in the smokey crowd.  The Seattle Police Department themselves have officially told the public that "...minor marijuana possession has been the lowest enforcement priority for the Seattle Police Department since Seattle voters passed Initiative 75 in 2003." They answer the public's marijuana-related FAQs in their somewhat humorous online guide called "Marijwhatnow? A guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle."

Jim Seida / NBC News

"It's too good to be just for the young," said 67-year-old Pat Edmonson about the marijuana cigarette she smoked just after midnight on Thursday, Dec. 6, in Seattle. Edmonson, of Whidbey Island, Wash., was in Seattle with her daughter to celebrate the legalization of the possession of marijuana.

Seattle police acknowledge that while it's now legal in the state of Washington to possess marijuana, it's still against federal law.  For more on federal laws still in effect, check out the Department of Justice statement warning that was issued.

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