More interested in maintaining the status quo (and the vicious cycle of addiction), VA officials have been overtly reluctant to discuss the Arizona research with local physicians or veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
As a direct result, Dr. Sue Sisley’s PTSD study now faces a critical October 1 deadline.
Intended to “provide definitive answers on the medical benefits of marijuana for wounded veterans,” Sisley noted, if no new participants step forward by the looming deadline, the study would either need to “shut down,” or the study’s parameters would have to change to include “non-veterans.”
The alternatives do not represent a viable option for Dr. Sisley: “It was a seven-year saga with federal regulations just to get the study to this point – I don’t want to see that lost.”
— Sue Sisley, MD (@suesisleymd) July 24, 2016
But Curt Cashour, the VA Press Secretary, views the study’s lack of participants from a slightly different perspective.
Per Cashour, “Federal law restricts VA’s ability to conduct research involving medical marijuana, or to refer veterans to such research projects. The researcher is free to work with veterans service organizations and state veterans officials who may not face such restrictions to identify candidates for her study.”
Despite being patented by the feds as an “antioxidant” and a “neuroprotectant,” marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I narcotic within the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). Restricted by its current classification within the CSA, research on the plant’s medicinal efficacy has been largely restricted.
Highly praised and backed by the American Legion, Dr. Sisley’s PTSD research project represents what many believe is “the first definitive U.S. research on whether marijuana can help manage veterans PTSD.”
Conducted by the California-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), the study was made possible thanks to a $2.16 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
With over 4,000 potential volunteers already screened, the PTSD study has only enrolled 22 of the needed 76 volunteers. Those veterans ready, willing, and able to participate in this critically important research can arrange an interview with Dr. Sisley by emailing her at Arizona@marijuanasites.org.
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