Controversial Psychiatrist to Start Marijuana Trial for PTSD

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An Arizona psychiatrist who was fired last year as an assistant clinical professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine allegedly because of her desire to conduct research into medical marijuana as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) says she will now conduct that research on her own.

Sue Sisley, MD, got some good news recently when a federally regulated Institutional Review Board approved her request for research. But in order to begin, she will need access to the federal government’s supply of marijuana for medical research purposes, which she is waiting for.

“Our goal is to collect the most objective data so that eventually it can be published in peer-reviewed medical journals,” Sisley told Arizona Public Media. She added the work will focus on military veterans.

Last year, Sisley won federal approval to conduct a research project into the therapeutic effect of marijuana on PTSD. Shortly afterwards, the University of Arizona informed her that her appointment there would be terminated, a move that created national headlines.

In December, Sisley and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies were given a $2 million grant from the Colorado Board of Health to conduct the PTSD study. However, she had been having trouble finding a university to actually house the study. She now says the study will be conducted in the Phoenix area.

Controversial Psychiatrist to Start Marijuana Trial for PTSD
Sue Sisley to Start Marijuana Trial for PTSD

A medical marijuana researcher terminated at the University of Arizona last year says she is a step closer to beginning clinical trials in the Phoenix area.

Researcher Sue Sisley said she plans to conduct independent research in the Phoenix area, after she struggled to find support at a state university for a study of marijuana's effects on people with post-traumatic stress disorder. The private, federally regulated Institutional Review Board approved her research request, she said.

Sisley said the study is now waiting for access to a federal supply of marijuana.

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