Millions of ordinary Americans are now able to walk into a marijuana dispensary and purchase bags of pot on the spot for a variety of medical ailments. But if you’re a researcher like Sue Sisley, a psychiatrist who studies post-
traumatic stress disorder, getting access to the drug isn’t nearly so easy.
That’s because the federal government has a virtual monopoly on growing and cultivating marijuana for scientific research, and getting access to the drug requires three separate levels of approval.
Sisley’s fight to get samples for her study — now in its fourth month — illuminates the complex politics of marijuana in the United States.