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Legal recreational pot industry opens in Colorado

DENVER (AP) - The nation's first recreational pot industry has opened in Colorado, kicking off a marijuana experiment that will be watched closely around the world.

Activists hope it will prove that legalization is a better alternative than the costly American-led drug war.

Business owners who threw their doors open for shoppers at 8 a.m. Wednesday, meanwhile, are hoping the fledgling industry will prove to generate as much revenue as state officials hope it will.

At least 24 pot shops in eight towns scrambled to get ready for the opening, increasing staff and inventory and hiring extra security. Washington state also legalized recreational pot, and its industry opens in mid-2014.

Legalization critics warn that increased access will lead to an increase in drug abuse, including among teenagers, and crime.