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Advocates for medical marijuana dispensaries have filed lawsuits in California to try to win court orders that would stop U.S. attorneys from closing them down.

Last month, U.S. attorneys in California told dozens of marijuana dispensaries they must close or face criminal and civil action. The attorneys said they would prosecute landlords who rent space to operators of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Matt Kumin, one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuits, told the Los Angeles Times he wants to reach a compromise with the federal government on a medical marijuana program in the state. He pointed out federal prosecutors have not issued similar threats in Colorado, which has regulated medical marijuana sales more heavily.

The lawsuit says increased federal enforcement “will eviscerate and likely eradicate” California’s medical marijuana system, in which storefront dispensaries play a key role. According to the lawsuit, about one million patients in California use medical marijuana.

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