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US President adds that the substance is actually less damaging ‘in terms of its impact on the individual customer’

Snow Report: At last, hefty snows arrive to cover the Alpine resorts

There are superb conditions across the Alps after substantial snowfall last week in France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria. In North America, the best snow can be found in Colorado.

New England Patriots running-back LaGarrette Blount scored a record four rushing touchdowns in the play-off victory over the Indianapolis Colts

NFL: LaGarrette Blount runs himself into the history books but he'll have to do it all again if the New England Patriots have dreams of Superbowl glory

Blount has been at the forefront of a Patriots side that has shifted their emphasis to a running game but they come up against the free-scoring Denver Broncos for a place in the season showcase

Guiseppe Rossi has suffered an injury to his cruciate knee ligament

Fiorentina striker Giuseppe Rossi in World Cup doubt after knee injury scan shows 'some damage to the anterior cruciate ligament'

Rossi has had three previous operations on the same ligament and will have another check-up to discover the full extent of the injury

Colorado officials replace '420' mile marker with 419.99 to deter marijuana-minded thieves

The number 420 has been long associated with cannabis use

Oaksterdam in Oakland, California, is the world's only university dedicated to the study and cultivation of cannabis

Cannabis cultivation: the world's only college course

After the decriminalisation of marijuana in two US states, a new crop of would-be drug barons is enrolling on a college course in cannabis cultivation

A crowded sales counter at a marijuana retailer in Denver

Colorado cannabis store sales believed to have exceed $5m in first week

If correct, at least $1m of this revenue is destined for the state’s tax coffers - to be spent on the state’s schools, roads and other public projects

Mexico says marijuana legalization could change anti-drug strategies

Colorado's 'pot shops' might do more to stop the Mexican cartels than any law enforcement

This the first time to test the argument that legalisation will diminish violence in America’s immediate neighbour

A man smokes a joint containing marijuana.

70% rise in Twitter users adding 'smoke more weed' to their list of 2014 New Year resolutions

People using the social media website also said they wanted to drink more alcohol and take more drugs

Allan Umscheid, owner of Yards By Al in Lawrence, Kan, feels the bitter wind and catches drifting snow on his face as he runs a snow blower early morning

'Polar vortex' snowstorm plunging America into record-breaking cold snap may bring coldest day of 21st century

With Arctic winds plummeting temperatures to  -50C, much of North America has shut down as authorities warn of the life-threatening freeze

Emergency crews work near a passenger plane that crashed upon landing at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in Aspen, Colorado

Aspen plane crash: One dead and two injured

One person has died and two people were injured, one severely, when a plane crashed at Aspen airport, police in Colorado have confirmed.

Colorado became the first US state where shops could legally sell recreational marijuana on January 1

New York to legalise medical use of marijuana

Governor Andrew Cuomo to announce drug's legalisation for those with serious illnesses

Marijuana and cannabis-infused products on display in Denver, Colorado, where it became legal for the drug to be sold for recreational use in shops

'Marijuana overdoses kill 37 in Colorado': Scores duped by satirical website

Many were left fooled by The Daily Currant's claim that dozens died on first day the drug could be legally bought for recreational use from shops in the state

In this Dec. 27, 2013 photo, marijuana and cannabis-infused products are displayed for sale 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

Colorado marijuana sales reach up to $1m on first day

Initial estimates say sales could reach $600m by the end of 2014

Examining the merchandise in the dispensary

$400 an ounce, but no need to worry about the cops: So what's it like to legally buy marijuana in Denver?

As recreational cannabis was legalised in Colorado on New Year's Day, thousands turned out for their first taste of the new industry. Tim Walker joined the back of the queue

Partygoers smoke marijuana during a Prohibition-era themed New Year's Eve party celebrating the start of retail pot sales in Denver

A pot of gold? Colorado's pilot scheme to legalise recreational marijuana could raise millions in tax dollars...

... and mark the beginning of a sea-change in attitudes around the globe

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?