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States Lead Pot Policy Shift

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File photo of cannabis plants. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

File photo of cannabis plants. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

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Las Vegas CBS KXNT- Expect Nevada to be part of a multi-state push for legal recreational marijuana in 2016, as the politics of pot continue to shift.

Advocates of legal marijuana will push a tax-and-regulate ballot initiative in five states, emulating successful measures in Washington and Colorado.

Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project says 54 percent of Nevadans support the comcept, which includes allowing adults to shop for pot in regulated retail operations. The last ballot effort in Nevada was narrowly defeated in 2006.

A majority of voters consider arresting adult users a waste of money, Fox told KXNT, and many police officers with street beats also view heavy-handed pot enforcement policies to be a failure.

An announcement last week U.S. Justice Department has paved the way for states to set their own policy, but there’s skepticism among marijuana advocates. A hearing on Tuesday at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will clarify the Obama administration’s intentions, Fox told KXNT.

Fox said he’ll be watching for signs that the Justice Department plans to respect state laws that are already in place. So far, the medical marijuana business hasn’t had an easy time of it. Federal law enforcement has moved from busting the dispensaries to targeting support businesses like banking and amored car services, he said.

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