Cannabis is now on sale in Colorado Reuters

Colorado has collected $2m in marijuana taxes since it became the first US state to legalise the drug for commercial sales.

Figures reveal the state's 59 marijuana firms made $14m (£8.4m) in gross sales in January, the first month under the new laws.

Colorado legalised cannabis in 2012 but commercial sales did not begin until January, when 24 recreational pot shops were opened.

In total, the state collected a total of $3.5m in marijuana taxes if medicinal marijuana firms are included.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said the cash would be ploughed into youth prevention services, substance abuse treatment and public health.

There are currently 20 US states, including Washington, DC, which allow for medicinal marijuana to be sold.

Barack Obama recently told New Yorker magazine he did not think marijuana was more dangerous than alcohol but still thought it was a "bad idea".

But the President has instructed the Department of Justice to stop banks that do business with cannabis firms being prosecuted.

Washington state is set to introduce legal sales later this year.