Activists: New Wash. pot push calibrated to voters

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SEATTLE (AP) — Activists behind a new push to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Washington state say the measure is carefully calibrated to what voters will support — and to what will keep state workers from getting into trouble with federal agents.

Leaders of the group New Approach Washington held a news conference Wednesday to announce they filed an initiative to legalize possession of up to an ounce of pot, which would be sold and taxed at state-licensed stores. Sponsors include former Seattle U.S. Attorney John McKay and current Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, with backing from the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington.

They say they expect to succeed where other legalization efforts have failed in part because they’ve studied public opinion about marijuana and crafted the measure accordingly. They also say they’re avoiding concerns that state workers could face prosecution by making sure that officials who license marijuana stores aren’t required to violate federal law.