Fired Professor Nominated For $2M Grant To Study Marijuana, PTSD –

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Colorado is welcoming once-shunned marijuana researcher Dr. Sue Sisley, who in a controversial move was fired from her former position at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Sisley, who was sacked in July, has been nominated for a $2 million grant from the state of Colorado to continue her medical research, reports Nina Golgowski at the New York Daily News.

The research pioneer expressed suspicion that her abrupt termination was due to political influence. Up until now, Dr. Sisley had feared that her study of the effects of cannabis on post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, would be halted without a lab.

With the proposed generous grant — awaiting a board’s December 17 decision — Sisley’s study into the potential benefits of cannabis, especially, to U.S. veterans, could continue.

“That’s the beauty of this grant,” Sisley told AZ Central. “The Colorado Health Department believed in the quality of this research regardless of whether I was aligned with an Arizona university or not.”

Sisley’s study plans to examine 76 veterans with PTSD, half of whom will be in Arizona — where a private donor has offered her free lab space — while the other half will be at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

The primary investigator overseeing both locations will be Marcel O. Bonn-Miller of the University of Pennsylvania and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs National Center for PTSD.

Dr. Sisley’s grant is one of eight, totaling $7.6 million, announced by Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council this week.

The other studies would examine the effectiveness of cannabis in treating Parkinson’s disease tremors, inflammatory bowel disease, complex pediatric epilepsy, palliative are for pediatric brain tumors, and chronic pain.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s health board will make the final decision for Dr. Sisley’s grant’s approval on December 17.

“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. “We hope the studies will contribute to the scientific research available about the use of marijuana in effectively treating various medical conditions.”

Sisley first teamed up with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) five years ago on a study of marijuana’s effectiveness on PTSD.

Photo: Erik Verduzco/Associated Press

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