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University of Arizona Researcher Fired for Trying to Study Efficacy of Cannabis for PTSD Speaks Out

Discussion in 'Cannabis News and Activism' started by Jambi619, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Jambi619

    Jambi619 Cannabis Crusader

    "The president of the Arizona Senate, Biggs, has gone on record saying he opposes marijuana research, and even went so far as to tack onto a bill an amendment that would block any funding of marijuana research. He’s saying he’s an elected politician who does not value science. Other right-wing lawmakers have also gone so far as to say that I support marijuana research because it’s a strategy for legalization. They are saying they’re afraid of research that might uncover the benefits of marijuana.

    Maybe they don’t understand how research works. It’s a triple-blind randomized controlled trial — it’s the most rigorous science you can conduct in the US. It would have answered tons of questions for the veterans and the general public."

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  2. 215z

    215z Well-Known Member

    fuck the man
    macbill, grokit, TNT_error and 2 others like this.
  3. Jambi619

    Jambi619 Cannabis Crusader

    Indeed. This is probably the most blatant example of politics interfering with science. Hopefully this story gets enough attention that something is done to correct the situation.
    grokit, Deja Vu, SSVUN~YAH and 2 others like this.
  4. Kief

    Kief Medicated

    I'd say it is getting some attention... Dr. Sanjay Gupta had this researcher on his show last weekend, see the video and full article here - http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/12/health/marijuana-researcher-arizona/index.html?hpt=hp_t2 . This is one of those things that everyone should read/watch... especially our elected officials.

    The following was posted by cybrguy in the general news thread and I feel it needs a re-post here. (i did try to have it moved)

    Medical marijuana research stalls after Arizona professor is let go
    By Saundra Young, CNN
    updated 1:13 PM EDT, Sat July 12, 2014

    This is your body on weed
    • Dr. Sue Sisley was planning to study marijuana's effect on veterans with PTSD
    • Studies on the medical benefits of cannabis have been few and far between
    • Sisley's contracts at University of Arizona were not renewed
    • University says it has championed medical marijuana research on campus

    Editor's note: For an exclusive interview with Dr. Sue Sisley, watch "Sanjay Gupta | M.D." Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET.

    (CNN) -- A well-known medical marijuana researcher at the University of Arizona says a study she's been planning for four years has cost her her job.

    Dr. Sue Sisley, a clinical assistant professor in the college of medicine, has been with the university for nearly eight years in several capacities. She has been planning a pioneering study on marijuana's effect on veterans with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

    "I was on the forefront of the most controversial research happening at the university," said Sisley, the study's principal investigator, said. "And they did not like the optics of veterans smoking and vaporizing marijuana on their campus, even in the context of a rigorous, FDA-approved, randomized controlled trial."

    That trial was designed to look at the safety and efficacy of using marijuana to treat veterans who suffer from PTSD and aren't responding to other approved treatments. Seventy veterans were to participate in the randomized, triple-blind study, in which five different potencies would be used; some would be placebos and others would contain doses of up to 12% tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive ingredient in pot.

    For decades, studies to determine the medical benefits of cannabis have been few and far between because the Drug Enforcement Agency classifies it as a Schedule I drug -- the most dangerous class of drugs. That puts it in the same category as heroin, LSD and ecstasy. Schedule I drugs are defined by the agency as "drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."

    The whole article from which this is only part, is here:
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  5. Jambi619

    Jambi619 Cannabis Crusader

  6. al bundy

    al bundy Vaporist

    "He's saying he's an elected politician who does not value science"

    SO When is Election Day???
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
    SSVUN~YAH, grokit, Deja Vu and 2 others like this.
  7. Nesta

    Nesta Well-Known Member


    Here's another cannabis article from the NYT. It's not part of their editorial series calling for the legalization of marijuana, it's a news article examining the roadblocks to medical marijuana research.It focuses on Dr. Sue Sisley, who received rare government approval for a study to see if the whole cannabis plant could help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder [which is apparently hard to treat with the available pharmaceuticals].

    But she was fired by the University of Arizona before the study began, probably for political reasons. This is covered by FC here: http://fuckcombustion.com/threads/u...ficacy-of-cannabis-for-ptsd-speaks-out.14885/

    The article has a little good news:
    "There are signs, though, of a possible shift in attitude within the federal government. In May, the D.E.A. issued new rules to increase the government’s production of marijuana for research this year to 650,000 grams from 21,000 grams.

    And at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, for instance, records show that at the beginning of this year there were 28 active grants for research into the possible medical benefits of marijuana in six disease categories. Most of the studies focus on the potential therapeutic uses of individual cannabinoid chemicals from marijuana or synthetic versions and not the plant itself. Furthermore, a dozen or so of those studies are being conducted with animals and not humans.

    Additionally, other National Institutes of Health entities have been supporting marijuana research. As for independently funded marijuana research, the federal government has cleared 16 projects since 1999, 13 of them at the University of California, San Diego.

    Moving the drug to a less restrictive category could do more than reduce some obstacles to research, proponents say. It would be a significant step toward allowing doctors around the country to prescribe the drug. Federal lawmakers say it could also permit medical marijuana operations that are legal at the state level to take business deductions on their federal taxes."

    mod note: This post and the one following were moved from the NY Times legalization thread.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2014
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  8. grokit

    grokit well-worn member

    the north
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  9. Kief

    Kief Medicated

    I looks like this story has a happy ending... she didn't get reinstated, but got a new job.

    Arizona Pot Researcher Sacked for Politics Finds Home in Colorado
    By William Breathes in Follow that story,Medical,News
    Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    The strange (and shameful) tale of Sue Sisley, a woman who was set to lead the nation's first large-scale study of medical cannabis for vets with returning post-traumatic stress disorder but fired for her outspoken support of medical cannabis at the state level, seems to have found a happy ending.
    Monday, the state of Colorado announced that they will put $10 million toward medical research - including $2 million going towards Sisley's study.

    From Calhoun's report:

    "Sisley's work has the approval of the U.S Food and Drug Administration -- a high hurdle, since marijuana is still categorized as a Schedule 1 drug by the federal government -- and the University of Arizona Institutional Review Board; this past March, her study became the first whole-plant medical marijuana drug development research project to get the okay from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to purchase marijuana from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which has a monopoly on marijuana used for research in this country. (It's grown at the University of Mississippi, of all places.) And come January, right when the money for Colorado's first grants will be distributed, Sisley should have all the official marijuana she needs to do the kind of documented, clinical study of cannabis that people have been clamoring for."

    We'll have more info on Sisley's study in the coming days.

    From: http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2014/11/arizona_pot_researcher_sacked_for_politics_finds_h.php#more
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  10. Deja Vu

    Deja Vu stay true to yourselves

    Sorry for caps but grrr it frustrates me. Christian dark ages are over, let us learn now! Let us understand and grow and stop fucking around you politician pieces of fucking shit!
  11. Jurkone

    Jurkone Well-Known Member

    It amazes me that people can say things like this openly and nothing happens to them... I mean, this is the people in charge of our society, who decides what's good and bad for all of us? My head has exploded... Anyone have a mop, please?
  12. TNT_error

    TNT_error Well-Known Member

    It's so bullshit and it's the 21st century for fucks sake. So many illnesses and symptoms can be treated, and if we could research it, we can cure some nasty things. I'm terminally ill (bad stuff and rare) and I was taking about 10-12 pills a day. I stopped everything from Percocet to Zoloft for weed. We all know the hypocrisy of those meds (I was going crazy), but it's greed and more greed. At least Europe and other countries are researching the benefits
    SSVUN~YAH, Gunky, RUDE BOY and 6 others like this.
  13. grokit

    grokit well-worn member

    the north
  14. Jurkone

    Jurkone Well-Known Member

    Thanks! :D
    SSVUN~YAH and grokit like this.
  15. Kief

    Kief Medicated

    Here's an update on Sue Sisley. I love how she's still determined to help some of her patients in Arizona, "but I refuse to turn my back on these dedicated Arizona veterans".

    Sue Sisley on Her Request for Colorado to Fund Study on Pot and PTSD
    By Patricia Calhoun Tue., Dec. 16 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Sue Sisley.

    Controversial cannabis researcher Sue Sisley is on her way back to Colorado today, after six months that have been a "pretty barbaric rollercoaster," she says. "One injustice after another, and I suspect it will not slow down for quite a while." But at the end of November, the Arizona-based researcher finally caught a break: Colorado's Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council chose eight research-grant proposals for the Board of Health to consider at its December 17 meeting -- including Sisley's proposal to study the effectiveness of using marijuana to treat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Sisley had been researching the affect of marijuana on PTSD at the University of Arizona for several years when UA officials terminated her contract in June for political reasons -- a controversy that's been covered by media outlets ranging from NBC to the New York Times. She'd already been exploring working with the University of Colorado on her study, but Johns Hopkins stepped up with a formal partnership that is now part of her grant proposal. "Such a great feeling to receive this grant approval after slogging through so many years of fighting ridiculous barriers," she says.

    Other proposals under consideration in Colorado would look at the potential for marijuana in treating tremors from Parkinson's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, complex pediatric epilepsy, pediatric brain tumors and chronic pain.

    "Colorado is leading the way in devoting significant resources to study medical marijuana," said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in announcing the finalists last month. "We hope the studies will contribute to the scientific research available about the use of marijuana in effectively treating various medical conditions."

    The Colorado Legislature established the advisory council last year, authorizing $10 million from reserves in the medical marijuana program cash fund for "objective scientific research regarding the efficacy of marijuana and its component parts as part of medical treatment," with $1 million going to administration of the program.

    The department received 57 applications; the requests of the eight finalists total $7.6 million. Sisley is asking for $2 million. "Someday soon, this PTSD research will finally be implemented," she says. "The dire need for this PTSD research is so obvious with our epidemic of veteran suicide. The relentless delays from our Arizona universities and other government agencies are unconscionable."

    At its meeting tomorrow, the Board of Health has the authority to approve all the grant proposals submitted by the council. If there is unallocated funding, the board may direct the department and the advisory council regarding funding of additional research.

    Given the backing of Johns Hopkins, Sisley now plans to divide her protocol between two sites. "Instead of enrolling eighty veterans in Arizona as originally planned, we will be able to expedite the enrollment process by enrolling forty vets at Johns Hopkins and forty veterans in Arizona." Just where, in Arizona, has yet to be determined -- "but I refuse to turn my back on these dedicated Arizona veterans," she says.

    And if she gets the Colorado grant, she won't have to. "That's the beauty of this grant," she says. "The Colorado health department believed in the quality of this research regardless of whether I was aligned with a university in Arizona or not.... It's a true vindication of its scientific merits, and further highlights how shameful it is that no Arizona university is willing to embrace this crucial research.

    "The dire need for this PTSD research is so obvious with our epidemic of veteran suicide," she concludes. "The relentless delays from our Arizona universities and other government agencies are unconscionable."

    From: http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2014/12/sue_sisley_marijuana_ptsd_colorado_study.php
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  16. Jambi619

    Jambi619 Cannabis Crusader


    It seems Dr. Sisley got her funding and is on track to conduct her study, in Arizona.

    "Sisley has faced numerous hurdles in her efforts to study the effects of four marijuana strains on veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

    "It has been five years now battling the government at all levels to try to get this study underway," she said."


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  17. Kief

    Kief Medicated

    Something about this was posted in the cannabis news thread, but I thought it should be here with the rest of the story.

    PTSD Cannabis Study To Finally Move Ahead
    By:Jeremy Daw April 27, 2016
    If the Medal of Honor could go to civilians, Sue Sisley would be my nominee.

    After a tortuously long wait marked by intrigue and sudden reversals, a landmark study on the effectiveness of cannabis to treat PTSD is finally ready to begin enrolling combat veterans who have proven resistant to other treatments. The long-awaited clinical trial designed by Dr. Sue Sisley and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), after its numerous delays from sudden funding losses and the suspicious termination of Dr. Sisley herself, received approval from the DEA to begin enrollment as early as next month.

    The trial will work with 76 veterans at clinics in Baltimore and Phoenix, administering cannabis grown under DEA license at the University of Mississippi — historically, another logistical roadblock to the study’s initiation, because of longstanding doubts of whether the government facility could provide sufficient cannabis of the potency the study required. That’s been among the least of Dr. Sisley’s team’s headaches; worse have been NIDA obstructionism and Dr. Sisley’s sudden termination (and the subsequent loss of the study’s funding) at a time suspiciously coincident with political grandstanding by unfriendly (and well-connected) state politicians. Yet Sisley and MAPS have endured all of these roadblocks to receive approval for their study, the first of its kind, to investigate anecdotal claims of cannabis’ effectiveness in treating combat-related PTSD.

    The federal approval is significant, coming at a time when the use of cannabis to treat PTSD has been contentious on the state level. While Pennsylvania, the latest medical marijuana state, includes PTSD in its list of approved conditions for which medical marijuana may be validly recommended, many other states, like Illinois, have heretofore excluded the condition from their own lists. The result is that countless combat veterans who are trying to manage their symptoms with cannabis have been made criminals, even in some “medical marijuana” states.

    In another piece of suspicious timing, the DEA’s approval came in the same week as a resounding 21-8 Senate Appropriations Committee vote to allow Veterans Affairs doctors to discuss medical marijuana with patients in states where it is legal to do so, in a possible signal of a change of heart inside the Beltway regarding our nation’s veterans.

    Federally approved clinical trials take time; the study’s authors caution that results may not be ready before 2019. For soldiers who gave and did not receive in return, answers cannot come soon enough.
    From: http://theleafonline.com/c/politics/2016/04/ptsd-cannabis-study-to-finally-move-ahead/
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  18. MinnBobber

    MinnBobber Well-Known Member

    This is loooong overdue. Too bad she has to use the crap DEA bud.
    Our vets deserve cannabis NOW.

    Israeli PTSD study (not completed) is showing SPECTACULAR results.
    Way too many vet suicides every day :(

    Great news
    Adobewan likes this.
  19. macbill

    macbill Gregarious Misanthrope

    The Evergreen State
    Arizona Will Vote On Legalizing Marijuana in November

    A petition to legalize marijuana in Arizona will officially be placed on the state’s ballot in November.

    The Arizona Secretary of State on Thursday certified a petition to legalize the drug, which was started by the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol campaign, Fox 10 Phoenix reports.

    If passed, Proposition 205 would allow people 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and consume it in private. Among other things, it also would allow adults to grow up to six marijuana plants within their residences and establish a department to oversee marijuana production and sales.
    grokit, HD Springer and MinnBobber like this.

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