A groundbreaking new study on medical marijuana is paying cannabis smokers to help contribute to the scientific research.
Eligible research participants will receive payment for their participation in an anonymous series of surveys in a long-term, yearlong study of medical marijuana. Dr. Suzanne Sisley, one of the medical field’s most prominent cannabis researchers, leads the groundbreaking study. Sisley has teamed with the University of Michigan in the joint effort to study how medical marijuana has affected the lives of patients. The team has also released an alternative, one-time survey to reach more participants who may not be interested in or eligible for the yearlong commitment.
Sisley hopes to study the specific effects medical cannabis has on patients’, “pain management, quality of life, and the use of other medications,” Vice News reports.
Cannabis Research Participant Eligibility
Both versions of the study generally require adult participants, 18 years or older. Those involved in the long-term survey must have a medical cannabis certification in the state where the user resides, while the short-term survey allows for users of medical marijuana in any state where recreational cannabis is legal. Interested candidates meeting the eligibility requirements may contact Dr. Kevin Boehnke at the University of Michigan to enroll.
The Michigan study allows Sisley to continue blazing new trails in the cannabis research community. In the past, Sisley’s progressive medical studies have faced contention. Before moving to the University of Michigan, Sisley previously worked with the University of Arizona and John Hopkins University where both appointments ended in controversy.
In 2014, Sisley was abruptly let go from the University of Arizona, where she first earned her medical degree. This occurred a few months after the federal government granted her permission to study the effect of marijuana on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although Sisley was given a rare approval by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the university terminated her without an official explanation with no allowable appeals, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Sisley told the Los Angeles Times in 2014 that she believed she was fired because publicity from the grant offended Republican legislators overseeing the public university.
"This is a clear political retaliation for the advocacy and education I have been providing the public and lawmakers," Sisley told the paper. "I pulled all my evaluations, and this is not about my job performance."
In 2017, Sisley joined Johns Hopkins University with plans to study the effects of medical cannabis on veterans with PTSD. However, the study dissolved due to federal rules requiring the marijuana used in the trial to be grown by the government. Researchers found the government-grown weed was moldy and did not have enough THC for an effective study, the Washington Post reported. Johns Hopkins chose to back out of the study before any patients ever enrolled.
Primed for success over previous research projects, the University of Michigan has given Sisley its official seal of approval with widespread calls for participants in the two surveys. It appears unlikely any Michigan legislators will take offense to the subject matter, because of 2016 legislation that allows licensed dispensaries to sell medical cannabis. Plus, Northern Michigan University recently added a cannabis major to medical studies program.
Users interested in getting paid to smoke cannabis and contribute to scientific research may contact Dr. Kevin Boehnke from the University of Michigan at [email protected]