Arizona Channel 12 News: Veterans Speak in Support of Medical-Marijuana Researcher

Arizona News Channel 12 features coverage of the Arizona Board of Regents meeting on Thursday, September 25, highlighting presentations from veterans and medical marijuana advocates who traveled from around the country to voice their support for Dr. Sue Sisley’s study of marijuana for PTSD. The report notes the various reasons why veterans are passionate about developing alternative PTSD treatments, highlights the public petition on that received over 110,000 signatures in support of Sisley’s marijuana study, and explores how the study may move forward. "I think [Arizona State University] President Crow was really struck by the appeals that were made today," explains ASU spokesman Kevin Galvin. "I think it's fair to say it's an idea we're exploring."

Originally appearing here.

Veterans and supporters of Dr. Sue Sisley — and her medical-marijuana research for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder — took their fight to an Arizona Board of Regents meeting Thursday in Flagstaff.

The University of Arizona College of Medicine didn't renew Dr. Sisley's contract in July. The college couldn't say for what reason.

Those interested in her research want to make sure it continues. One of the main messages from supporters is that lives are being lost every day — just about every hour of the day — to PTSD, and they want the research to continue without delay.

Some veterans traveled far to attend today's meeting. We talked with one from San Diego, and another who says he biked 141 miles from Cave Creek.

"I hope that the Arizona Board of Regents will request an independent review of the circumstances surrounding the termination of Dr. Sue Sisley," said Sean Kiernan, a veteran who tells us he suffers from PTSD.

"Standing up and being visible is what you have to do," he said. "We've written letters, we've talked on phones, we started groups, we have Facebook pages, we have websites, we've been quoted, we've given press interviews."

And supporters say they've collected over 100,000 signatures on petitions to get Dr. Sisley reinstated at the University of Arizona.

And if rehiring Dr. Sisley isn't going to happen at UA, supporters aren't going to stop there. Veterans called on Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow, present at today's meeting, to find a home for Sisley's work at ASU.

"I think President Crow was really struck by the appeals that were made today," said ASU spokesman Kevin Galvin. "I think it's fair to say it's an idea we're exploring."

Supporters say Sisley's ouster was a result of political retaliation by lawmakers who didn't like her research.

According to the University of Arizona, it wants to keep her research going on campus, but the sponsor of the project, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (or MAPS), won't continue supporting it without Sisley leading it, so it pulled the program from the school.

"The University of Arizona has told the research sponsor, MAPS, that we're willing to do the research, that we think it's necessary and we think it's important," said UA spokesman Chris Sigurdson.

"It's said that they want to continue the research but they only proposed the alternative principal investigator after we already informed them that we're going to stick with Dr. Sue Sisley no matter what," said Brad Burge, MAPS' director of communications.

Dr. Sisley has been working on the project with MAPS for five years. MAPS says it's now looking at continuing the project at colleges in Colorado and Nevada, as well as at Arizona State University.