Dr. Sue Sisley, M.D
In November 2010, the citizens of Arizona passed Proposition 203, thereby establishing a medical marijuana program. Despite many delays, Arizona is now in the process of awarding licenses to nearly 100 new dispensary operators. Yet as patients eagerly anticipate regulated cannabis, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a political battle they should not have to fight.
Arizona doctors seeking to utilize the program for their patients’ care must turn to the limited scientific literature on the efficacy of medical marijuana. Despite great demand for more FDA-approved research from Arizona and elsewhere, obstructive federal regulations are creating enormous barriers to new research and thwarting peer-reviewed studies of medical cannabis.
The call to open up marijuana research comes from a diverse cross-section of the medical community. Among the organizations seeking new research are the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the American College of Physicians, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the American Nurses Association. In June 2012, the Arizona Medical Association joined these respected organizations in requesting the elimination of barriers to research.