As we’ve reported, the University of Arizona fired the lead researcher of a study that looked at the therapeutic benefits of cannabis for treating people with post-traumatic stress disorder. While no reasons were given, Dr. Sue Sisley says that she was fired for political reasons and not because of her performance.
And now she has filed an official appeal with the university, demanding that continue as assistant professor and assistant director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program. She has support, too. As we wrote earlier this week, an Iraq veteran posted an online petition at Change.org that has gathered more than 31,300 online signatures.
Sisley has maintained all along that she was fired for speaking out for medical cannabis patient rights at the state capitol this past fall, notably in dealing with legislation that would have helped fund Sisley’s study on post-traumatic stress disorder with existing medical marijuana patient money and tax revenue. That rubbed a few lawmakers the wrong way and she says they asked the University president to do something about Sisley.
Sisley says she wants to get back to planning and conducting a major clinical study on PTSD and medical cannabis treatments that has already received federal approval – something few studies regarding the efficacy of medical cannabis ever receive outside of National Institute of Health studies meant to prove the so-called dangers of cannabis.
“The main goal is to get me reinstated to conduct research that is so important to the veterans of this state,” Sisley said. “I’d be back tomorrow to implement the study.”
Sadly, not even Sisley’s attorney thinks the appeal will do much good. But he says the University would at least be wise to give the reasons for Sisley’s dismissal if it really wasn’t for political reasons. He says that if the appeal doesn’t work, Sisley will likely take her case to the federal level.
Sisley initially said that her firing was likely the end of the study itself, though she now says she could take it to two other Arizona universities as well as to an out-of-state school.