Pubdate: Wed, 02 Jul 2014
Source: Phoenix New Times (AZ)
Copyright: 2014 New Times, Inc.
Author: Ray Stern


Dr. Sue Sisley, the outspoken physician and medical-marijuana
researcher, has been fired from a University of Arizona job, possibly
due to political pressure. Joe "Skip" Garcia, the University of
Arizona's senior vice president for health sciences, who happens to
earn $810,000 a year, is being trounced in the news this morning over
this -- accused of doing the bidding of state Senate President Andy

Is this how Big Universities operate? According to the Arizona Capitol
Times this morning, Garcia asked Sisley to account for her political

"(Skip) said he was calling on behalf of the (university) president's
office, and said that if I didn't reply to his request, I wouldn't
have a job," Sisley said.

Sisley said Garcia told her that Senate President Andy Biggs had
questioned Sisley's activism with members of U of A administration and
government relations team, which Sisley said she believed precipitated
scrutiny and ultimately her firing.

Sisley is an MD and former clinical faculty member at St. Joseph's
Hospital and Medical Center. She's been working at the Arizona
Telemedicine Program at the U of A's Phoenix medical school, (along
with her private telemedicine practice). But now her contract's not
being renewed and she has to leave her university position by
September 26. Despite the blame heaped on Garcia in the Cap Times
article, a copy of a letter received by New Times shows that Ronald
Weinstein, director of the Telemedicine Program, recommended to Garcia
that Sisley's contract not be renewed. The June 24 letter from
Weinstein to Garcia doesn't shed any light on why the contract isn't
to be renewed, however.

Sisley also claims affiliation with the U of A's Department of
Psychiatry; we're not sure if that's affected.

Ever since Proposition 203 was approved by voters in 2010, she's been
trying to get post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) added to the list
of qualifying ailments. Last month, an administrative law judge ruled
that it should be added. The state Department of Health Services has a
deadline of July 9 to "accept, reject or modify" the decision.

Sisley was also in the news back in March, when state Senator Kimberly
Yee blocked a bill that would have supported giving state funds to one
of Sisley's studies.

The University of Arizona has clammed up on the subject. We'll let you
know if Garcia returns our call.
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