Dr. Suzanne Sisley, a faculty member and researcher at the University of Arizona, was informed that her positions would not be renewed last month, likely a result of her federally approved research into the treatment of PTSD with medical marijuana. On July 28th, they denied her appeal for reinstatement. As an Iraq War veteran diagnosed with PTSD and a proud University of Arizona alum, I'm outraged that the university has put politics before the care of our nation's veterans.
When I returned from serving in Iraq, I suffered from severe post-traumatic-stress. I was prescribed a cocktail of prescription drugs from the VA for years; they didn’t help. In 2010, I began using marijuana exclusively to treat multiple symptoms of PTSD such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, and severe panic attacks. The results have been profound, marijuana has helped me live a more full and productive life.
I was ecstatic my school was going to house Dr. Sisley's study and find out just how marijuana works to alleviate PTSD symptoms. That was until I learned Dr. Sisley, the only person in the country who has federal approval to work with veterans and medical marijuana sourced from the federal government, was shown the door.
With no explanation for her termination given, it seems the University of Arizona fired Dr. Sisley for attempting to conduct research that may have caused backlash from state lawmakers. They let politics trump science, education, and veterans like me. Our nation's veterans are committing suicide at astonishing rates, 22 times every single day, and the University of Arizona has blocked research to help them?
The Arizona Board of Regents must reinstate Dr. Sisley at one of our other public universities, providing her with the necessary space and resources she needs to conduct her research. Her study could mean life or death for many veterans. “Bigger Questions, Better Answers,” is the motto The University of Arizona has failed to live up to — let’s see if Northern Arizona University or Arizona State University can.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please sign my petition, the lives of many veterans may very well depend on it.
Dr. Sisley's study needs to find a home at one of our state institutions and the Board of Regents has the power to negotiate with ASU or NAU’s presidents to expedite an academic appointment. This status is needed so she can apply to the IRB institutional review board and, if approved, would be allowed to conduct the study at either of these two public institutions.
I implore you to support Dr. Sisley’s federally approved research to study use of medical marijuana by veterans suffering from treatment-resistant PTSD by finding it a home in Arizona.
Stand up, support our Nation's warriors and the core principle of academic freedom you represent and immediately rectify the unjust, immoral and unpatriotic termination of Dr. Sisley.
Don’t turn your back on Veterans. Conduct the research.