Atty. Julia Marie Ezell of OK created email acct to send herself threats in order to influence marijuana laws. Used the acct name, "MaryJame" - Maybe her email acct. should've been named "Mary Jane."
Did Julia Marie Ezell, Medical Board Lawyer Overseeing Oklahoma’s New Medical Marijuana Regulations Get High On Her Own Supply?
OKLAHOMA CITY — A top attorney overseeing the state’s new medical marijuana regulations made up claims she was being threatened, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.
Authorities allege Julia Marie Ezell, 37, of Edmond, admitted she created an email account called “MaryJame” and sent herself a series of threatening messages before and after a critical board vote that set the regulatory framework for medical marijuana, according to the criminal complaint filed in Oklahoma County.
One email titled “marijuana laws,” warned that people could show up in force to stop it if the government thought it could take away rights and erase laws, according to the complaint.
“We will stop you and you’re (sic) greed,” an email read. “Any way it takes to end your evil and protect what is ours. We will watch you.”
In another, the sender noted: “We would hate to hurt a pretty lady.”
Ezell was charged Tuesday with two felonies and a misdemeanor for allegedly threatening herself, falsely reporting a crime and creating false evidence.
Ezell resigned Friday as Oklahoma State Department of Health’s general counsel, according to her resignation letter made public Tuesday by the state agency.
Her two-sentence letter made no reference to the criminal probe, but ended with “I am so sorry.”
A Health Department spokeswoman said the department had no comment on Ezell’s resignation or the criminal charges.
The criminal complaint did not say why Ezell allegedly sent herself the emails, but noted investigators were able to trace the messages back to Ezell. She told investigators she acted alone and no one else knew she had written the emails, according to the complaint.
Ezell’s attorney Edward Blau did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Ezell was one of the Health Department officials tasked with drafting the regulatory framework for the fledgling medical marijuana industry, and presented the public synopsis of the regulations at the July 10 meeting.
She also warned the Board of Health, which is supervising implementation, against adopting a ban on the sale of smokable forms of the drug and adding a requirement that pharmacists work at dispensaries. The board adopted the restrictive and controversial changes anyway.
Two lawsuits already have een filed over the rules.
Ezell’s resignation is just the latest in a series of issues facing the beleaguered Health Department, which is now on its fourth director since October.
The agency has faced allegations it mismanaged millions in taxpayer dollars and unnecessarily laid off hundreds of employees.
A grand jury probe ultimately determined the mismanaged funds stemmed from a lack of clear accounting processes, but the Legislature still gave the agency $30 million in unnecessary, emergency funding.