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Medical Marijuana Advocates Consider Lawsuit Against N.J.

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Marijuana (file/credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Advocates say they will consider suing the state if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continues to stand in the way of implementing a law that legalizes marijuana for medical use, but they’re not enthusiastic about that possibility.

Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey director of the Drug Policy Alliance, hopes a lawsuit is a last resort. She notes that court cases can drag on for years and says her concern is patients having access now.

Christie hasn’t yet responded to a memo released Thursday by the U.S. Justice Department that says marijuana dispensaries and licensed growers in states with medical marijuana laws could face prosecution for violating federal drug and money-laundering laws.

Christie’s spokesman, Michael Drewniak, says the governor is awaiting advice from Attorney General Paula Dow, who is still reviewing the letter.

Several states have started reassessing their medical marijuana laws after stern warnings from the federal government that everyone from licensed growers to regulators could be subject to criminal prosecution.

Should the dispensaries open? Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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