A prominent medical marijuana researcher said she was fired from the University of Arizona because her research on using pot to combat post-traumatic stress disorder was causing problems with Republican legislators.
Suzanne A. Sisley, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry, believes both her research and her well-known political views were the reason her contract was not renewed.
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“This is a clear political retaliation for the advocacy and education I have been providing the public and lawmakers,” Sisley told the Los Angeles Times
. “I pulled all my evaluations and this is not about my job performance.”
Although University of Arizona officials wouldn’t comment on a personnel matter, they denied her allegations.
“The university has received no political pressure to terminate any employee,” university spokesperson Chris Sigurdson told the Times, adding that the university actively researches medical marijuana.
Sisley’s study involving the use of medical marijuana to potentially treat PTSD led the assistant professor to lobby the legislature for state funds, she told the Times. A Republican senator blocked those funds from going to Sisley, and the researcher’s allies tried to start a recall effort, she said.
“I didn’t even support the recall,” Sisley told the Times. “I thought it was a waste of energy.”
Sisley told the Times that she believes what’s happened at the University of Arizona will harm her chances of getting a position elsewhere.
“Any university president is going to worry about taking me on,” she told the Times. “Especially at a public university, where you have to rely on the good graces of the Legislature. These lawmakers hate me.”
The news of Sisley’s dismissal came as Arizona approved the use of medical marijuana for treating PTSD as of January 1, AZ Central said
, although not as a primary treatment.
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