TRENTON - (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department won't give NewJersey an explicit assurance that medical marijuana growers willavoid prosecution.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has said he wants such anassurance before he agrees to implement a state law that allowingthe programs.

Attorney General Paula Dow had asked the Justice Departmentwhether those licensed to sell or grow marijuana and the stateworkers who will administer the program would face arrest.

In a letter from U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole,obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, Cole says prosecutingpatients is not an efficient use of official resources. But henotes that everyone from licensed growers to regulators could besubject to criminal prosecution.