Sue Sisley, a specialist in internal medicine and psychiatry, has formed Americans for Scientific Freedom, an organization designed to lobby lawmakers in the hopes that she may finally receive approval to research the benefits of medical marijuana to help combat veterans cope with post-traumatic stress syndrome.
She also is looking at changes to the law to let the state health department fund medical marijuana research.
The Arizona legislature passed a bill last year that banned marijuana from public school campuses, but the bill was unclear on the question of marijuana possession and use at state-run universities and community colleges.
Sisley says that university officials are using that law to ban her medical marijuana research at the school.
Sisley said she gained approval nearly two years ago from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct a study to determine whether marijuana, in various dosages and methods of administration, can help combat veterans with post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Sisley said her proposal had already been approved by the UA’s Institutional Review Board, which must give the go-ahead for research on live subjects. Next, she said she needs approval from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to send her the cannabis for her study.
“Before the governor signed that ban about marijuana on campus, we were assuming that our study was going to be conducted on the university campus, which is the only real safe and appropriate forum for that,” Sisley said. “I need to be in a place where my patients and my staff can feel safe.”
If the University approves her study, Sisley will need to secure $250,000 in funding — mostly to pay DEA fees for marijuana research.
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