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Why Did a University Fire a Govt-Approved Marijuana Researcher With No Explanation?

July 2, 2014  |  The University of Arizona has fired Sue Sisley, a researcher in the psychiatry department, without warning or explanation. Sisley planned to lead a clinical study of marijuana as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans and UA had agreed to play host.

The study recently became the first to receive approval from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) to obtain government-approved pot for research—a historic decision that broke the institute’s track record of blocking all independent pot studies. The study’s protocols were already approved by the FDA three years ago as well as by the University of Arizona Institutional Review Board (IRB).

The study is sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which has been trying to get a scientific study of pot approved for decades. In an LA Times article, Rick Doblin, director of MAPS, called firing Sisley a “repression of science.”

“What happened here is the repression of science for political purposes,” he said. “It is astonishing in this day and age.”

MAPS, alongside the American Civil Liberties Union, is looking into ways to overturn Sisley’s termination.

Sisley has been vocal in recent months about the importance of US policy change when it comes to medical marijuana and she told the LA Times she thinks her termination has everything to do with her research and “personal political crusading.” She said she suspects she drew the attention of Republicans who control university funding.

“This is a clear political retaliation for the advocacy and education I have been providing the public and lawmakers,” Sisley told the Times. “I pulled all my evaluations and this is not about my job performance.”

By April M. Short
Read the full story at alternet.org

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