In the wake of the University of Arizona decision to fire a prominent researcher who had received federal approval from drug officials to study the effects of marijuana on patients suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, the public here in Arizona overwhelming supports (83%) research of the type she proposed. Suzanne A. Sisley, an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and the lead person in the research program alleges that her firing traced to pressure put on the university by Republican state legislators who control the
university purse strings. University officials deny that they were pressured in any way by elected officials.
Whether Sisley’s allegations are true or not, 83 percent of the public favors this type of university research in Arizona. Sisley’s research proposal has since been considered for approval by the University of Colorado, along with the two million dollar grant that would come with approval. Eighty percent or more of each age group studied support this type of research.
On the question of legalization of simple possession of small amounts of marijuana, 53 percent of Arizonans favor legalizing for personal use – a finding almost identical with a national Pew poll released earlier this month. While 53 percent favor legalization of personal possession, there remains a partisan divide on this issue. Thus, 64 percent of Democrats approve, as do 53 percent of Independent voters. The only outliers are Republican voters, among whom a third are in support but 61 percent oppose. Strongest support for legalizing possession is found in rural Arizona (58%) and in Maricopa County (53%) The public in Pima County also favors such
legalization but by a lower ratio of 47 to 43 percent.
As might be expected, younger residents are the most supportive of legalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana, but older residents are not outside of what seems to be a growing trend for approval. Thus, residents under 35 years of age approve of legalization by 71 to 26 percent, while 35 to 54 year olds favor it by 47 to 42 percent. Forty-five percent of residents over 54 years of age, are in favor while 46 percent are opposed.
The orginial report was published June 3, 2015 can can be read via the Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies.