Prominent Arizona medical marijuana researcher Sue Sisley has given up on any of the state's public universities to house the research she's been doing for years on the effects pot has on post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
Sisley brought that research to the University of Arizona close to five years ago, and got approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 2011 and the Public Health Service last March. She was then laid off from the UA this past summer, and she had been hoping to continue her research at NAU or ASU.
A few months later, NAU's president passed on the study, so Sisley and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which sponsors the research, turned to ASU—that move, too, without any luck.
Veterans who suffer from PTSD and other advocates for months pleaded the Arizona Board of Regents to keep the study here, but the demand was ignored.
On Friday, MAPS' Executive Director Rick Doblin sen this message:
It's now February 20, 2015, about eight months after Sue initiated discussions with ASU about possibly hosting our marijuana/PTSD study. Despite all this time, Sue has not received an offer of an unpaid academic appointment and our questions about how we might interact with the ASU press office have not been addressed.
In order for us to proceed with our study, we are going to go forward with submitting our protocol to an independent IRB and will conduct the study without affiliation with ASU. It's a shame and intellectually backward that no academic institution in Arizona was willing to work with Dr. Sisley on the first controlled study to ever be conducted on a matter of crucial importance to the many veterans and others suffering from PTSD who live in Arizona and elsewhere.
In December, Sisley and MAPS were awarded $2 million from the Colorado Board of Health for the research.
While approval and funding are in place, the National Institute on Drug Abuse still has to give Sisley her pot. A process she's said it's taken too long, since they've already overcome all federal hurdles.