Colorado, Washington legalize recreational marijuana

Colorado and Washington passed referendums legalizing marijuana for all uses.

Voters approved ballot measures to legalize and regulate the production, possession and distribution of marijuana for people aged 21 and older. They are the first states to legalize marijuana.

A similar measure was voted down in Oregon.

Under the new law, marijuana can be cultivated for special stores to sell up to an ounce to individuals 21 and older, according to an ABC News story .

An ABC News report found that legalizing marijuana would cut Mexican drug cartels' income by $1.37 billion, or 23 percent of its $6 billion in sales in the United States.

Colorado and Washington are among the states that have allowed marijuana use for medical reasons. Massachusetts will join those states after its electorate approved a ballot measure to allow medical marijuana use.