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July 01, 2015

Oregonians celebrate pot legalization with giveaways

Though marijuana use is legal in Oregon, it can't be sold or bought in the state until next year

Recreational marijuana use became legal in Oregon at midnight on Wednesday, but there’s a catch - buying and selling marijuana in the state is prohibited until next year.

Applications for large-scale growers and retailers aren’t being accepted until early 2016, and no Oregon stores are expected to have marijuana for sale until the fall of 2016.

But that’s not stopping some savvy smokers who’ve found a way to circumvent the conundrum by giving it away for free, KGW.com reports.

According to the new Oregon law, it is legal for adults ages 21 and up to possess and use and share recreational marijuana, including growing up to four plants per residence in the state.

Public smoking and driving high still remains illegal, as does transporting marijuana out of state, even to neighboring Washington, where it’s also legal.

Similar legislation is already in force in Alaska and Washington state, reflecting a shifting legal landscape for a drug that remains illegal under federal law.

Further down the coast, legalization campaigns are underway in California, while recreational use is already allowed in Colorado and Washington D.C.

About half the country's states allow marijuana for medical use.

Reuters contributed to this report.