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Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales

In this Dec. 27, 2013 photo, employee Lara Herzog trims away leaves from pot plants, harvesting the plant's buds to be packaged and sold at Medicine Man marijuana dispensary, which is to open as a recreational retail outlet at the start of 2014, in Denver. Colorado is making final preparations for marijuana sales to begin Jan. 1, a day some are calling "Green Wednesday."
In this Dec. 27, 2013 photo, employee Lara Herzog trims away leaves from pot plants, harvesting the plant's buds to be packaged and sold at Medicine Man marijuana dispensary, which is to open as a recreational retail outlet at the start of 2014, in Denver. Colorado is making final preparations for marijuana sales to begin Jan. 1, a day some are calling "Green Wednesday."

DENVER (AP) — At least 24 marijuana shops in eight Colorado towns are scrambling to get ready for the opening of the nation's first legal pot industry.

Owners have increased staff and inventory, set up coffee stations and food giveaways and hired extra security to prepare for potential crowds and overnight campers ready to buy up to an ounce of pot, starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Police are beefing up patrols and bracing for potentially rowdy crowds.

While it's been legal in Colorado to smoke pot for the past year, Jan. 1 represents a milestone for the decades-old marijuana legalization movement. It's the first fully legal market for selling pot.

Colorado sales will be an important test for whether legalization is a viable alternative to the drug war.

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