New State Initiative Proposal Seeks to Legalize Pot
The push to decriminalize marijuana in Washington state may have gained some momentum thanks to the group Sensible Washington.

The marijuana activist group is trying to legalize the drug in the state through a ballot measure.

Douglas Hiatt, an attorney who works with Sensible Washington, says it will file an initiative Wednesday afternoon that would remove all state criminal and civil penalties for the possession use and sale of marijuana in any quantity.

The group tried to get a similar initiative on the ballot last year, but fell about 50,000 signatures short. That proposal was criticized for not including a state regulatory system overseeing the marijuana industry.

This time, the initiative would direct the state Legislature to develop such regulations, including possibly taxing marijuana sales.

State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson of Seattle has introduced a bill in the Legislature that would allow the sale of marijuana in state liquor stores.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)