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    State expands medical marijuana treatments

    Three years ago, the Louisiana Legislature approved medical marijuana as a treatment option for certain health conditions.

    The drug is expected to become available to patients this year.

    The number of people who could qualify has grown to about 100,000, after the Legislature expanded the program.

    A previous rule by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners limited doctors to recommending medical marijuana to just 100 patients each. But the state board voted  last month to eliminate that patient cap, out of concern that it would make the drug too difficult to access.

    Only a limited number of specially-licensed pharmacies will distribute medical marijuana  Louisiana has not legalized recreational marijuana.

    LSU and Southern University’s agriculture centers are growing the plant and will process the medicine into different forms, like oils, edibles or pills.

    Medical marijuana does not include the inhalation or vaping of cannabis. According to the law it cannot be in raw form or smoked.

    Around 30 physicians in Louisiana have been approved to recommend the drug.

    The list of debilitating conditions that will be eligible for treatment include:

    • Cancer
    • HIV+ status
    • AIDS
    • Wasting syndrome
    • Seizure disorders
    • Epilepsy
    • Spasticity
    • Crohn’s disease
    • Muscular dystrophy,
    • Glaucoma
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Severe muscle spasms
    • Intractable pain
    • Post traumatic disorder
    • Some conditions associated with autism spectrum disorder.

    ONLINE: ldh.la.gov

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    Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed to deliver LSU Fall Commencement keynote address, Aug. 3

    LSU alumna and Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed will deliver the keynote address at LSU’s summer commencement ceremony on Friday, Aug. 3, in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

    Reed, who received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the university, was named the Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education in April. Prior to being named commissioner, Reed served as executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. She also served in President Barack Obama’s administration as deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education.

    “We are proud to welcome alumna Kim Hunter Reed back to campus to speak at commencement, and back to Louisiana to serve as the Commissioner of Higher Education at the Board of Regents,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “Kim has a deep love for and commitment to higher education, and we have no doubt that she will both inspire and motivate our graduates with her message.”

    A Lake Charles native, Reed chaired Louisiana’s higher education transition team in 2015 and served as the state’s policy director. Reed also served as chief of staff and deputy commissioner for public affairs for the Louisiana Board of Regents and executive vice president of the University of Louisiana System.

    Reed received a doctorate in public policy from Southern University, a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from LSU. She has received numerous honors, including LSU Alumna of the Year, Public Administration Institute; and Mom of the Year, Jack and Jill of America, Baton Rouge Chapter. She has been featured in Daughters of Men, a national publication highlighting outstanding African American women and their fathers.

    “I am honored to celebrate the accomplishments of these new LSU graduates at my alma mater, a place that was so integral to my success,” Reed said. “There is nothing more rewarding than joining families and faculty at commencement as we applaud our students hard work and focus on increased talent development in Louisiana.”

    Commencement will begin with the procession at 8:45 a.m., with the graduation ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. There will be no separate diploma ceremonies for August commencement.

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  • Super Science Saturday

    Super Science Saturday (SSS) is a free Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education event for students in kindergarten to 12th grade, parents, and anyone interested in seeing science in action. SSS is sponsored by LSU Chemistry, the Baton Rouge local section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), and LSU Athletics.

    SSS is held each Fall, usually around National Chemistry Week. This year there will be 20 stations with hands-on demonstrations and activities to engage students and adults alike. Each K-12 student that attends is given a Passport at the check-in area that has blocks for each of the activity stations. When the student visits the station and participates in the activities the Passport is stamped. After visiting all the activity stations located around the concourse level of the PMAC they will receive some small gifts at the check-out area. Many regional K-12 teachers give students with a fully-stamped Passport some bonus points for attending and learning some science – so students should hang on to their Passports if that is the case.

    Organizers said, “We typically have 1,000 to 1,100 K-12 students and 1,200 parents attend the event. Over 150 volunteers help with SSS, from staffing the activity booths, to blowing up 800+ balloons to give to the K-12 students that attend the event.”

    The activity stations this year will be staffed by Albemarle, BASF, Dow, ExxonMobil, the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance, LSU College of Science Departments and organizations, LSU Engineering Diversity Ambassadors, LSU Food Science, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Solutions Through Science, Iota Sigma Pi, and Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady of the Lake University Chemistry Department.

    The event is free, but SSS will collect non-perishable food items (and/or monetary donations) for the Baton Rouge Food Bank.
    The organizer of the event is Prof. George Stanley (LSU Chemistry, phone: 225-578-3471, E-mail: gstanley@lsu.edu). Please contact him for more information or questions about Super Science Saturday. Information is also posted on the LSU Chemistry website (chemistry.lsu.edu).

     

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    Dixon promoted to Public Relations Colonel

    LSU Cadet Todd Dixon, a New Orleans native, has been selected to serve as the Regimental Commanding Officer for the 17th Regional area of the National Society of Pershing Rifles.  Dixon’s range of responsibility includes eight Pershing Rifles chapters at universities across the South in Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia. He will also maintain his responsibilities and current position as Commander of Pershing Rifles at LSU.

    Since 2011, this will be the first time the Regimental Headquarters for this area will be located at LSU.  It is a huge accomplishment, and is reflective of the tremendous efforts and hard work of Dixon and Pershing Rifles at LSU. At their national convention, Dixon was promoted to the rank of Public Relations Colonel effective on March 12, 2016. 

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