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Prominent Republicans in Washington state, Colorado endorse legal pot

Posted: October 5, 2012 |   Comments

(Reuters) - Ballot measures to legalize marijuana in Washington state and Colorado gained support this week from a pair of prominent Republicans - U.S. Senate candidate Michael Baumgartner and former Representative Tom Tancredo - who could help sway conservative voters.

No state has ever legalized marijuana for recreational use. The federal government considers it an illegal drug, but 17 states and the District of Columbia allow it as medicine.

Baumgartner, the Republican challenger to Washington state's Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell, said in a phone interview the state initiative, which would allow the sale of marijuana to people 21 and older at state-sanctioned stores, is a "thoughtful way forward."

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