CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s two year investigation exposed the new faces and incredible potentials of medical marijuana to the American public, and also highlighted the growing frustration, and anger around gaining access to medical marijuana. In the third installment of his award winning series, WEED: The Marijuana Revolution – Gupta reports on a watershed moment in medical marijuana research that could change everything we know about the plant and it’s affects.CNN's Jen Christensen also recently wrote about Sisley as a preview to the Weed episode:
At last count, nearly half of the United States has legalized medical marijuana, enabling millions of Americans to treat everything from pain to glaucoma to epilepsy to cancer with a hit of medicinal weed. Yet science has not proven conclusively whether it’s safe and effective. With marijuana still illegal federally, the roadblocks to research have been impenetrable - until now. Scientists such as Dr. Sue Sisley, MD and others around the U.S. are finally breaking down the walls put up by the government. Gupta gains exclusive access to their history-making research and their patients, as they try to unravel the mystery of marijuana.
She appreciated the progress they said they were making, but like any good scientist she didn't want to rely on anecdotal evidence. She wanted documented proof, clinical trials of large patient populations that run in the gold standard of a peer-reviewed journal that marijuana was the right approach to treating PTSD, or any other ailment for that matter. People use it to treat a variety of medical issues, such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, chronic pain, Alzheimer's, cancer and others.The episode airs this Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, meaning 6 p.m. Tucson.
With medical marijuana legal in nearly half of the states, more doctors are wondering what impact this drug really has on people. They ask for dosage information. They want to know about its long-term impact on patients.
Sisley looked for answers to these questions in medical research, but she didn't see much. When she decided to do the studies herself and applied for federal approval, she was met with miles of red tape and resistance — like many other researchers before her.
That's because marijuana is one of the tightest-controlled substances under federal law. The U.S. government considers it a Schedule I drug, meaning the Drug Enforcement Administration considers it to have no medical value. It's right up there with heroin and LSD. To do research on marijuana, scientists need approval from several federal departments. And that approval is rare.