University of Arizona Fires Pot Professor

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A prominent assistant professor at the University of Arizona lost her job–presumably because of her involvement in a marijuana study.

The University of Arizona fired Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Suzanne A. Sisley following her plans to research the use of marijuana to treat patients suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychiatric disorder that mostly affects military veterans returning home from war. Sisley claimed that she was fired by university officials who didn’t like the attention that her research brought to the school. She called it “clear political retaliation for the advocacy and education I have been providing the public and lawmakers.”

Sisley received approval from the National Institute on Drug Research to conduct her study in March after plans for state funds fell through. She wanted to examine the effects of the drug on veterans suffering from PTSD using state funds collected from medical marijuana dispensaries. The study earned some unneeded heat in the state legislature when Republicans moved to block the funding and activists turned the school into a political prop on campaign literature as they tried to recall one of the GOP leaders, a move that Sisley was not involved in and called “a waste of energy.” She said she hopes she can continue her research at another facility but she’s not very optimistic about her options.

University officials denied her characterization of her dismissal but refused to explain exactly why she was fired. The letter she received from the school informing her of her termination also did not specify their reasons for letting her go. In other words, Sisley’s probably right.

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