sue sisley medical marijuana arizona
Marijuana Science Medical Marijuana Policy

University Of Arizona Won’t Give Marijuana Researcher Her Job Back

sue sisley medical marijuana arizonaDr. Sue Sisley was supposed to lead a research project at the University of Arizona that explored how medical marijuana affects PTSD. Unfortunately for Dr. Sisley, and those who would have benefitted from her research, the University of Arizona terminated her employment prior to the start of the research project. Dr. Sisley appealed her termination, and this week the University of Arizona denied her appeal.

The private funders of the research project have stated that if she didn’t get her job back, that they would pull funding for the project and send their money to a different university. There was a lot of backlash after Dr. Sisley’s termination, and I expect there to be even more now that her appeal was denied. Military veterans are leading the outcry. Per NBC News:

Some of Sisley’s supporters argue her dismissal embodies barriers that have long blocked marijuana from the medical mainstream. Those obstacles include, her backers say, a federal “monopoly” that chooses which scientists can investigate cannabis — and controls the price for exam-grade pot.

Sisley’s loudest fans are veterans who see hope in her planned study. They include Ricardo Pereyda, an Arizona alumnus diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder after serving in Iraq. His online petition, dubbing Sisley’s firing “immoral and unpatriotic,” has amassed nearly 100,000 signatures.

One of my pet peeves when it comes to medical marijuana opponents is when they say that they don’t support medical marijuana because there needs to be more research. Then these same opponents do everything they can to thwart any research. This happens way too often. If opponents truly wanted more research, they would allow it to happen and live with the results. But deep down they know that truth and science is not on their side, which is why they do everything they can to prevent research.

  • Choom Gang

    I hope she lands on her feet with her funding intact.

    • Ron

      I hope she lands a job at Berkeley or Stanford where she can conduct her research openly without fear of reprisals, and that her salary will double.

  • wowFAD

    Dr. Sisley will have no trouble finding work if cannabis moves to Schedule 3.

    As it stands, there is no market for clinical cannabis research because the Federal Government systematically prevents it. All manufacturers/producers of Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 substances are required by the Controlled Substances Act to be licensed by the DEA. The DEA has only issued ONE license to produce/distribute cannabis for clinical research in the United States, and they issued it to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, another federal agency funded by the ONDCP, just like the DEA.

    That way, the sort of clinical research Dr. Sisley *should* be conducting into the safety and medical efficacy of cannabis is always forced into the same NIDA/DEA approval bottleneck of indefinite delay and certain denial — the only sort of cannabis research the NIDA approves and supplies is research attempting to prove cannabis is dangerous, in some (any) way, like attempting to link cannabis use to domestic violence. Yes, the cannabis domestic violence study got funded AND approved by the NIDA, while Dr. Sisley’s research into better treatment for those suffering for PTSD has been consigned to the NIDA’s purgatory for unapproved studies.

    Frankly, conservative America should be outraged over this illegal monopoly. When the Federal Government is the sole owner of the only legally recognized means of production and distribution of a product, that’s called SOCIALISM.

    I think the people who terminated Dr. Sisley have detached themselves from the fact that her research into PTSD would directly benefit our veterans returning from war. The post-Iraq suicide rate for our soldiers returning home was almost as high as it was after Vietnam — by 2009, for every single soldier who died in combat, 20 more came home and killed themselves. Dr. Sisley’s research would have gone a long way towards quieting the troubled minds of our troops most damaged by the horrors of war.

    It’s despicable that the NIDA, DEA, and the University of Arizona care more about demonizing a harmless plant than the welfare of our troops.

  • mike1188

    Drug companies and Tabaco, and liquor companies don’t want legalization, so the politictions thay they have bought and paid. To start prohibition and to keep it going. So the wont have more competition in the market place. So why would they want any testing done that would prove once and for all that marajuana has multiple health bennifits and is safer o use than Tabaco, alcohol and multiple kinds of medicines.

    • Dave_K

      Legislators like Kavanaugh, Biggs, and Yee would rather listen to the voices in their head than to examine actual evidence. It might cause them to reexamine their views on cannabis that havn’t changed much since the days of Randolph Hearst and Henry Anslinger. Most certainly they are aware that research will not support their biased and outdated views on the use of cannabis as medicine. These folks wanted to give a million dollars unsolicitied to our private prisons recently while our students in Arizona schools continue to receive the lowest per pupil expenditures in the entire nation and while our crisis in veteran’s health care continues. In more civilized parts of this world that would be considered morally reprehensible. There is something very wrong with legislators that who would rather use our state resources to incarcerate our citizens than to educate them. When the truth won’t do, something is terribly amiss in Arizona.

    • Heath

      Never heard of Tabaco. What kind of drug is that?

      • rosieprospects

        No need to be so critical!

  • Sarijuana

    I don’t know where it will go from this point on, but someone needs to kick their asses. I wish the national media would blast this insanity. Our vets need this research done, no matter what upheaval this will cause for the government.