Dr. Sue Sisley, prominent pot researcher who testified in Minnesota, fired abruptly

Categories: Marijuana
marijuanaplant.jpg
Coleen Danger
A physician with the University of Arizona who testified twice on behalf of Minnesota's medical cannabis bills was fired recently for what she's alleging is political retaliation for her research and activism.

Last session, Dr. Sue Sisley spoke to lawmakers here about the barriers she's faced at the federal level when trying to get approval for research. Instead, she urged states to take their own initiative and assured Minnesotans that "the sky hasn't fallen" in the 20, including Arizona, that already have medical cannabis programs on the books.

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Police group that opposed medical cannabis still struggling to find its place in politics

George Humphrey, a spokesman for the U of A, says he's unaware of Sisley's testimony in Minnesota, so he couldn't comment on whether it played a role in her contract not being renewed. But even if he did, he wouldn't be able to talk about it because "policy prohibits us from discussing this action."

He did, however, dismiss the charge that there was political pressure to fire Sisley, and noted that the university has supported legislation providing cannabis research to be done on campus.

Sisley.jpg
Dr. Sue Sisley
The timing of Sisley's firing is at the very least unfortunate. In March, she received final approval from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to begin research, after four years of waiting, on the affects of smoked cannabis on veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The following month, Sisley claims, she was confronted by an administrator who told her that Andy Biggs, Arizona's Republican Senate president, disliked the attention her work was bringing the university. She says she was ordered to draw up a list of her recent political activism -- which would have included one trip to Minnesota and one to Kentucky -- while the university hired an investigator to keep an eye on her.

This isn't the first time the two have butted heads. Sisley approached Arizona lawmakers to use money earned from dispensaries to fund her study, and when Biggs maneuvered to block her, some of the physician's allies launched an unsuccessful recall, according to the L.A. Times.

"The Senate president and other right-wing lawmakers have been on the record saying they oppose marijuana research because they believe it is a strategy to promote marijuana legalization," Sisley says. "They try to suppress marijuana research at every turn."

On June 27, she received letters from the university saying her contract with the Telemedicine Program would not be extended past September 26, but providing no explanation.

Sisley, who maintains a private practice, could take the PTSD proposal to another university, and says she's already gotten offers. But even if she does accept one soon, her study would likely take another one to two years to get off the ground.

-- Send story tips to the author or follow him on Twitter @marxjesse




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52 comments
ZigPope
ZigPope

Gov of AZ is from the private prison industry, and since elected, has done all she can to turn over every prison in AZ into privately run prisons. That,  btw, are not cheaper than taxpayers directly funding prison.


Non-violent pot smokers, are easy to arrest, and make good prison inmates, because they are your typical next door neighbor. Easy to arrest, easy to house -Easy Money for private prisons.


Contracts for private prisons demand 90% occupancy...get my drift.

Shane J. Pinske
Shane J. Pinske

The bible thumpers got it illegal cuz they said it spread std's and made you suicidal...all b.s. I'm a Republican and think it should be legal in all 50 states like in Colorado. Sell it same as liquor stores

Anna Marie Harper
Anna Marie Harper

Seriously, can we just grow up? There are worse things than marijuana that our state and others have not dealt with! Poverty, lack of education, homelessness, our broken ass roads... I hate politics. This shouldn't be left wing or right wing. It is for the people. We need to figure out better resources and that involves research.

Andrew Cusick
Andrew Cusick

Interesting comments... isn't the right wing generally libertarian? Some people have the left and right wing ideals messed up

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

That will stop a good idea you stupid Republican, picking on the scientist.   Great slogan for 2014, Republicans: We will take America back to The Dark Ages!

Maria Gallagher
Maria Gallagher

Maybe she didn't get along with her boss. Shit happens people. It's called at-will employment.

Mark Rude
Mark Rude

Obviously a move by the right wing to stop any research that may lead to marijuana legalization.

Dreyke Boone
Dreyke Boone

Interesting.. Hope she can find another university to continue her studies. It has nothing to do with legalization.

Ryan Duffney
Ryan Duffney

Bummer. At least it was for a good cause #legalize420wearenotCRIMINALS

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

Fascist ideals will get SMASHED


old fucks will sleep

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

This is a perfect example of ideology and partisan political expediency trumping any interest in truth.  The Right in America is still getting votes by scaring people about 1960s and early 1970s Dirty Pot-Smoking Hippies. So they will do anything and everything to make sure nothing is discovered to contradict their narrative.  I've never believe the "Unicorns, Skittles and Weed" fairy tales of the NORML types, any more than the "Reefer Madness" nonsense I was fed as a schoolkid.  But the fact remains that there is no substantive research about the true, long-term effects of marijuana, and it's completely due to obstruction from the Right.

And yes, the Right will absolutely abuse science, suppress research and sabotage careers to keep their narrative intact, for as long as there are people falling for the line and voting accordingly.  Which won't be too much longer as the 60's reactionary cohort dies off.  But in the meantime, we get warped science and faulty knowledge as a result.

Gary
Gary

@MicheleBachmann Pretty sure that's been their official campaign slogan/strategy for the past 20 years now.

k2yeb
k2yeb

Um seriously? Stupid. Both sides profit from the war on drugs.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@swmnguy You're right on this one. Since you supposedly believe in science, one would also surmise that you'd trust science to reveal climate myths that are so popular today. Here is an actual scientist on the topic dispelling a key issue useful idiots fight for: http://podcasts.joerogan.net/podcasts/randall-carlson

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@Gary same could be said about dems on other issues (see below). Egos kill objectivity.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@digitalprotocol  Good question.  I hadn't thought of that.  You know, they might.  It wouldn't be as easy as it sounds though.  Most researchers still care about their reputations.  Sure, the oil companies have managed to hire some researchers who can't make it in real research to crank out dishonest "skeptic" pseudo-research.  That fools the media and people looking for bias confirmation, but not legitimate researchers who know who is whom.

I wouldn't rule it out at all.  But I think it's more likely they'll just shut down any inquiry at all and leave it at that.

Gary
Gary

@mingtran Are you talking about your whole "global control" nonsense down there, because if so, pass. You're a dumbass who says dumbass things and that's about as much attention as I feel like giving you BYE.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@digitalprotocol ...true, but you must have HEARD the podcast and not LISTENED to it. We play the smallest role possible. It is essentially moot. We are not in danger  of the planet flooding from carbon emissions, nor will we be in 10,000 years at our current pace. If you believe the hype, you're a useful idiot. If you want something to get mad about, ask the powers that be why Teslas are illegal in 90% of the country.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@Gary How it works is you have to explain why I'm a dumbass, dumbass. Anyone can posit anything. You failed. Miserably.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@mingtran Kind of hard to take a stupid liar like you seriously when you stand on the side of politicians who fire scientists because they don't like research.    Global climate change is real and man made.   The only people that agree with you are conmen and those stupid enough to be conned.  

k2yeb
k2yeb

It's about $

k2yeb
k2yeb

Same thing as the other side. Have you looked at al gores energy usage?

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@digitalprotocol No. You heard, otherwise you wouldn't hold that opinion. Re-listen and pay special attention when he does the maths and uses the "10,000 fish in an aquarium" analogy.

Simple: global control and profit motive.

k2yeb
k2yeb

You are what you hate. It's pretty clear by your username. Troll.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann You don't have to take a "stupid liar like me" seriously (tell me what i've ever lied about). Respected scientist Randall Carlson tells you everything you need to know in the link I provided. It'll be way over your head though, he doesn't have a Dr. Seuss version for you.

k2yeb
k2yeb

You seriously are fucking stupid Bachmann. You are the problem. Look in the mirror to find the finger pointing problem.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann You calling me a dumbass is priceless. You're the most oft proven wrong on here. The fact that you can't prove why is the best though. It must suck being a bitch. 

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@mingtran  ya right, global control ...thats laughable 


there is no known profit motive, regulatory changes would result in loss of profits


you are way off.  I like JRE too but am wise enough not to buy into everything. 


i like to ask questions, you apparently just take guesses 

k2yeb
k2yeb

Bachmann is an idiot troll nothing more. Just another "it's the other guys fault" moron.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@digitalprotocol Yeah.... because free/virtually free electricity is WAY MORE expensive than gas. You're too young to be commenting on here.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@mingtran its not about gas stupid, its about coal. thats how electricity is generated. like in a choo choo train. 


you citing "global control" as the motive behind the green movement is easily the stupidest shit youve said here on CP



mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@digitalprotocol Plenty of other ways to generate electricity other than coal. See "Nikola Tesla" and his technology that has been ignored for over one hundred years because of global control. You're too young to hold opinions.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@mingtran ya i guess there are except the fact the the majority of the electricity is created by coal!  so your response is meaningless -- 


ya we all know about nikola tesla and his altruism, this is the internet

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@mingtran


About 67% of the electricity generated was from fossil fuel (coal, natural gas, and petroleum), with 39% attributed from coal.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@mingtran here ya go stoop


In 2013, energy sources and percent share of total electricity generation were

  • Coal 39%
  • Natural Gas 27%
  • Nuclear 19%
  • Hydropower 7%
  • Other Renewable 6%
    • Biomass 1.48%
    • Geothermal 0.41%
    • Solar 0.23%
    • Wind 4.13%
  • Petroleum 1%
  • Other Gases < 1%

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@mingtran what do you mean why?  cant you google


i dont know maybe because its a cheap and plentiful resource 

k2yeb
k2yeb

It's because coal is plentiful and cheap. I 100% agree middle is where it's at. The same Americans that often fight against greenhouse gasses and the like complain about high prices. Truth is we deserve less "prosperity".

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@digitalprotocol More like because the profit motive is greater. Little money in renewables. Tax receipts would fall, the public would spend less on energy giving them more upward mobility. More upward mobility for the average Joe is the last thing they want. Fighting for your own limitations is obviously making you dumber than you have to be.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@mingtran you are lost. when i asked you as to the motive behind the climate crisis and all the "propaganda" you said it was for profit and control


now you are saying that is the motive of climate crisis naysayers


my god you are pathetic


you have no idea on a lot of the stuff you comment on. i mean you dont even know about coal? 

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@digitalprotocol huh? Telling people the world is getting warmer because of fossil fuels, then not doing anything to ween the world off of fossil fuels makes sense? The motive is to increase social control while maximizing tax receipts. In every exchange I demonstrate a greater understanding than you.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@mingtran i asked what the motives are for those pumping climate change - you say profit and control


you say the same for the deniers - profit and control 


they cant share the same motives and have competing interests 


you stupid

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@digitalprotocol Only stupid people believe in A/B scenarios. Both can happen simultaneously. The middle road almost always results in the most favorable outcomes. 


YOU stupid

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