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California Medical Marijuana Czar Says She Never Smoked Pot

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

(AP) — California's medical marijuana czar says she never smoked pot but believes there's a need for weed.

Lori Ajax tells the Los Angeles Times that she's heard stories of how it has helped people with cancer.

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Ajax in February as the first chief of the new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.

She has a January 2018 deadline to set up a system for regulating, licensing and taxing medical marijuana.

Her appointment needs state Senate approval but Ajax already is busy. She plans to add staff and arrange public meetings on proposed regulations.

Those include requiring background and fingerprint checks to weed out criminals who want to be licensed pot growers and sellers.