Is pot now essentially legal in America?

The Justice Department says it won't sue Colorado and Washington to stop their recreational weed regimes, so...

A pro-marijuana rally in Denver on April 20, 2010. This is pretty much legal now.
(Image credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

On Thursday, the Justice Department issued its long-awaited reaction to the decisions by Washington and Colorado voters to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The verdict: Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, but the feds will essentially stand back and let states continue their pot experiments, at least for now.

It's a big deal that the Justice Department didn't file suit to stop states from setting up a regulated, legal marijuana market. Now, weed proponents will get their chance to "show that legalizing pot is better, less costly, and more humane than the last 75 years of prohibition — all with the federal government's blessing," say the AP's Gene Johnson and Pete Yost.

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