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Monday, December 5, 2016

State medical cannabis program to add PTSD as qualifying condition

Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger today announced the decision to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a new qualifying condition for the state's medical cannabis program.

"This decision was made after careful deliberation of available evidence, consultation with experts in the field and public input," Commissioner Ehlinger said. "While the process of reviewing these potential additions was difficult due to the relative lack of published scientific evidence, PTSD presented the strongest case for potential benefits. PTSD also has few effective treatment alternatives available for some patients with the condition."

Petitioners put forward a total of nine conditions for consideration this year, including PTSD, schizophrenia, acquired absence of limb (phantom limb syndrome), arthritis, autism, depression, diabetes, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and insomnia.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) also opted to allow manufacturers to develop and provide topical formulations of medical cannabis. According to Commissioner Ehlinger, the evidence suggested patches, lotions, creams, gels and ointments could offer a safe, effective and low-risk method for providing medical cannabis in known dosage to qualified patients.

When the 2014 Minnesota Legislature authorized the creation of a medical cannabis program in Minnesota, the law included a set of nine medical conditions that would qualify a person to receive medical cannabis. State rules also direct the commissioner of health to consider the possible addition of other qualifying conditions and delivery methods.

Throughout June and July, Minnesotans were invited to submit petitions to add qualifying conditions. MDH received nine petitions for new qualifying conditions and petitions for new delivery methods including topical, edible and vaporizing the whole plant. The process included nearly 50 public comments, a citizens' review panel and a set of research summaries for each condition prepared by MDH staff.

Under current law, patients certified with PTSD will be eligible to receive medical cannabis from the state's two medical cannabis manufacturers beginning August 1, 2017. As with the program's other qualifying conditions, patients will need advance certification from a Minnesota health care provider. More information on the program's certification process is available on the MDH website at the Office of Medical Cannabis.

-MDH-

No additional deer test positive for CWD in southeastern Minnesota

DNR asks deer hunters to use head boxes in Lanesboro, Preston, Chatfield, Harmony

No additional deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease from samples collected this fall in southeastern Minnesota, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Nearly one-third of all deer harvested during southeastern Minnesota's first firearms deer season and the first three days of the second season were tested for CWD. Only two of the 2,866 deer tested returned positive results. Both were harvested about 1 mile apart west of Lanesboro in deer permit area 348.

"This was an extensive surveillance effort," said Dr. Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the DNR. "While we're disappointed we found two positive deer, we remain optimistic the infection is localized and not widespread throughout the southeast."

The DNR now is planning and implementing its CWD response plan, which will include a December public meeting announcing the response plan details and continued opportunities for hunters in permit areas 347 and 348 to have their harvested deer tested.

Hunters can get a simple form, complete it and place it – along with the head of a harvested deer – in boxes located at the:

  • Preston forestry office, 912 Houston St., Preston.
  • Lanesboro fisheries office, 23785 Grosbeak Road., Lanesboro.
  • Magnum Sports, 20 Main St. S., Chatfield.
  • Oak Meadow Meats, 50 9th St., Harmony.

Samples are submitted for testing weekly. Test results become available the following week. Hunters will only be notified if a deer tests positive for CWD.

Instructions on how to use the head boxes are at the boxes and available on the DNR's CWD homepage at www.mndnr.gov/cwd.

"The DNR is in the process of developing more specific CWD management actions," Cornicelli said. "We will engage and fully inform the affected communities – particularly landowners – as we develop and implement quick and aggressive response actions that can limit the spread of the disease."

CWD is a fatal brain disease to deer, elk and moose but is not known to affect human health. Prior to this discovery, the disease was only found in a single other wild deer harvested near Pine Island in 2010.

The DNR discovered the two infected deer during this fall's enhanced CWD surveillance program, which was initiated because the region abuts Wisconsin and northeastern Iowa. Wisconsin has 43 counties affected by CWD and the disease has been detected in northeastern Iowa's Allamakee County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the World Health Organization have found no scientific evidence that the disease presents a health risk to humans who come in contact with infected animals or eat infected meat. Still, the CDC advises against eating meat from animals known to have CWD. Hunters should take these recommended precautions when harvesting deer:

  • Do not shoot, handle or consume any animal that is acting abnormally or appears to be sick.
  • If you do shoot a deer that acts abnormally or appears emaciated, report your harvest to your area DNR office.
  • Wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing deer.
  • Bone out the meat from the animal. Don't saw through bone, and avoid cutting through the brain or spinal cord (backbone).
  • Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.
  • Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.
  • Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of harvested animals. Normal field dressing coupled with boning out a carcass will remove most, if not all, of these body parts. Cutting away all fatty tissue will remove remaining lymph nodes. 
  • If hunters have a deer or elk commercially processed, request that the animal is processed individually, without meat from other animals being added to meat from their animal.

CWD is transmitted primarily from animal-to-animal by infectious agents in feces, urine or saliva. The disease also can persist for a long time in the environment and may be contracted from contaminated soil. The movement of live animals is one of the greatest risk factors in spreading the disease to new areas.
 
For more information, including maps of CWD surveillance areas, common questions and answers and hunter information, visit the DNR's CWD homepage at www.mndnr.gov/cwd.

Randolph Schools On Social Media

Randolph Public Schools has a strong presence on social media.  Administration has compiled a database of school personnel's social media accounts, pages, and groups in an attempt to continue to show the extraordinary things that students and staff of Randolph Schools accomplish daily. This is a way to share updates and information from activities and events happening in classrooms and the school.  If you are active on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram you are welcome to like, join, or follow.

Facebook
Pages (Search and 'like' these pages)
Randolph FFA Alumni - www.facebook.com/randolphffaalumni
Randolph Public Schools - www.facebook.com/RandolphSchoolsMN
Randolph High School Activities - www.facebook.com/RandolphHighSchoolAthletics

Groups (Search and join these groups)
Randolph FFA
Randolph Girls Basketball
Randolph High School Strength and Conditioning
Randolph Music Department
Randolph National Honor Society
Randolph Rocket Baseball
Randolph Rocket Basketball (Boy's Basketball Group)
Randolph Rocket Dance Families
Randolph Rocket Football
Randolph Rocket Softball
Randolph Rocket Volleyball

Twitter
@RandolphBB (Randolph Rocket Baseball)
@RandolphFB (RandolphFB)
@RandolphHS195 (Mr. Fisher, High School Principal)
@RHS_RocketsAD (Mr. Soule, High School Assistant Principal and Activities Director)
@RocketsNews195 (Mr. Kelley, Superintendent)
@RocketPE (Randolph Rocket Physical Education Classes)
@RRocketstrength (Randolph Weightlifting)
@WyattScience (Ms. Wyatt, High School Science)

Instagram
#we.are.rockets (Ms. Esser, High School English)
randolphfacs (Ms. Burke, High School FACs)