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Advocates celebrate legal recreational pot in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The beginning of July marked the beginning of recreational marijuana being legal in Oregon, and pot advocates gathered on the Burnside Bridge in Portland to welcome in the new law, reports CBS affiliate KOIN-TV.

Oregon joins Colorado, Washington state, Washington, D.C. and Alaska in legalizing recreational marijuana. Those over 21 can now legally carry one ounce of pot, and can possess up to 8 ounces and 4 plants at home.

Pot advocates converged on the bridge early Wednesday to hand out weed and marijuana seeds in celebration of the new law. However, lighting up in public is still unlawful, and police said they expected many to hit the streets once the clock struck midnight.

"We anticipate there are going to be a lot of people that will immediately go out and start smoking, maybe in public areas," Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson told KOIN. "We really encourage people to use at private locations, in their homes, and be respectful of the fact that there are a lot of people who don't want to smell it."

Many are wondering how police will enforce rules regarding recreational marijuana. KOIN learned police have lots of discretion when it comes to marijuana-related calls.

"It hasn't been a huge priority prior to July 1 and it won't be going forward," Simpson said.

If you're out and about and see someone taking a hit, you are urged not to call 911. Instead, call a police non-emergency line. However, if you see someone driving and lighting up, police say you should call them.

"[The] number one concern we have is people getting behind the wheel after they've consumed any intoxicant and driving," Simpson explained. "It'll probably be driven on complaints."

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