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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Sue Sisley’s PTSD research competes for funding

Dr. Sue Sisley’s marijuana research made a list of studies that Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council announced on Nov. 24 in order to be considered for research funding.

When Sisley was terminated from the UA in June, Sisley had been working on research to explore the effects of marijuana on post-traumatic stress disorder for veterans.

Sisley’s sponsor, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, submitted a proposal in October to the Colorado council requesting $2 million to fund her research.

The Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council’s list of studies, which includes Sisley’s, will be considered by the Board of Health at its Dec. 17 meeting to decide whether or not Sisley and MAPS receive the funding.

“Each proposal is for a two or three-year study,” states a press release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “The Board of Health has authority to approve or disapprove the grant proposals submitted by the council. In the event of unallocated research funding, the board may direct the department and the advisory council regarding funding of additional research that meets grant requirements.”

MAPS said in a press release that the money would be used to fund the study in two locations. The plans for the study include Sisley staying in Arizona and conducting half of the study at either her private practice or at Arizona State University.

At the time of the press release in October, MAPS said Sisley was in discussions with ASU for the study to be performed there. These discussions followed veterans attending the Arizona Board of Regents meeting in September who spoke in favor of Sisley and asked ASU to host the study.

The other half of the study would take place at John Hopkins Univrsity in Baltimore, conducted by Ryan Vandrey, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

In an email with VICE New’s Samuel Oakford, Sisley said that in October 2012, she was told by the UA that researching marijuana on campus was illegal, and that the university insisted she find a location off campus.

Sisley said that she did attempt to find a location off campus, but no one was willing to host a location for her to do her research because it involved marijuana.

“As soon as each landlord heard the word ‘marijuana,’ they immediately shut the door on us,” Sisley said in the email to Oakford.

She said in the email that following the failure to find a location off campus, they returned to the UA.

“When I returned to the [UA] with this information, they claimed that the only way they would allow this is if we ran a bill at the Arizona Legislature to make it legal to do this study on campus; we did that,” Sisley said, citing Senate Bill 1443.

According to SB 1443, no one can legally contain marijuana on a public university campus, but an individual doing medical research on marijuana may do so on a public university campus.

If Sisley and MAPS receive the funding from the board of health, the $2 million they requested will come from $10 million that was set aside last year by the general assembly for “scientific research available about the use of marijuana in effectively treating various medical conditions.”


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