Arizona Pot Researcher Sacked for Politics Finds Home in Colorado


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.

“Colorado is leading the way in devoting significant resources to study medical marijuana,” Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said in a release. “We hope the studies will contribute to the scientific research available about the use of marijuana in effectively treating various medical conditions.”
Sisley’s application was one of 57 submitted.
Our sister paper, the Denver Westword, wrote about this back in September – with editor Patricia Calhoun agreeing with Denver vet Sean Azarriti that Sisley would be a good match with the Centennial State.
Her study could help push Colorado to passing new laws allowing for PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis. Currently it does not qualify someone for medical pot, though adults 21 and up can legally access marijuana without a license.
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.