Sue Sisley: Hard Proof of the Benefits of Pot
When it comes to marijuana, the primary obstacle
preventing widespread medical breakthroughs is a lack of clinical trials.
Researchers are only allowed to use marijuana grown by a single farm at the
University of Mississippi – the pot is significantly less potent and sometimes
arrives at laboratories covered in mold. The approval process for new research
requires sign-off from two federal agencies, and often takes years. Enter Sue
Sisley, an Arizona physician who has made it her mission to establish the
benefits of cannabis while simultaneously drawing attention to the bureaucratic
stranglehold hindering research. Her advocacy work helped roll back a number of
onerous pot research requirements. This year, even as the DEA began accepting
applications for additional growers to compete with Mississippi, Sisley exposed
the "sub-optimal study drug" on a PBS NewsHour segment. "The
U.S. government has systematically impeded this work for years," she says.
"We were forced to become activists. We really just wanted to do the