PORTLAND, Ore., July 4 (UPI) -- Thousands gathered in downtown Portland Friday to celebrate Oregon's new legalization of marijuana for recreational use, at an event called "weed the people."
Voters approved Oregon Ballot Measure 91 in November, which legalizes recreational use and commercial sale of the plant. The law took effect Wednesday.
Prospective entrepreneurs and advocates attended Friday's rally -- exchanging samples, swapping business cards and sharing advice regarding marijuana use.
Businesses will be permitted to begin selling marijuana for non-medical use on Oct. 1. Oregon is just the fourth state in the nation to decriminalize pot -- following the enactment of similar laws in Washington, Colorado and Alaska. Washington, D.C., has also legalized recreational use of the drug.
However, it remains illegal to transport marijuana across state lines because the drug continues to be technically illegal under federal law. As such, that means pot is only legal for recreational use in about half of the state -- because 53 percent of the Oregon wilderness is managed by the federal government.
Currently, 37 of the nation's 50 states have passed laws that decriminalize marijuana to some degree.