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Lawyer quits after Oklahoma medical board vote on pot rules

July 17, 2018 GMT
FILE - In this Tuesday, July 10, 2018 file photo, Julie Ezell, speaks to the Oklahoma Board of Health in Oklahoma City. Ezell, the top attorney at the Oklahoma State Department of Health has resigned days after her advice on marijuana rules was ignored by the board. Health Department officials confirmed Tuesday, July 17, 2018, that Ezell resigned as the agency's general counsel on Friday, effective immediately. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, July 10, 2018 file photo, Julie Ezell, speaks to the Oklahoma Board of Health in Oklahoma City. Ezell, the top attorney at the Oklahoma State Department of Health has resigned days after her advice on marijuana rules was ignored by the board. Health Department officials confirmed Tuesday, July 17, 2018, that Ezell resigned as the agency's general counsel on Friday, effective immediately. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The top lawyer at the Oklahoma State Department of Health has quit her job, days after the agency’s board ignored her advice on rules for medical marijuana.

Health department officials confirmed Tuesday that Julie Ezell resigned as general counsel on Friday, effective immediately. The agency declined additional comment.

In a brief email to the agency’s interim commissioner, Ezell wrote: “I am so sorry.”

Ezell cautioned the board last week against banning sales of smokable marijuana and requiring a pharmacist in every dispensary. She said those last-minute changes were beyond the board’s legal authority and would likely invite legal challenges, but the board voted to make the changes anyway,

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Medical marijuana advocates then filed two separate lawsuits.

Ezell had helped write medical marijuana rules. Oklahoma voters approved medicinal cannabis in June.