AM Newscall 03.04.19

Medical marijuana grower GB Sciences, in partnership with LSU, is close to moving into a large scale permanent growing facility.

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 Office of Juvenile Justice says they’re ready to start taking in 17 year olds, who starting this month, if arrested will be sent to the Juvenile Justice System.

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The celebration of Mardi Gras continues throughout the state.  Kevin Barnhart talked with Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser to find out what to expect.

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Parade goers need to bundle up for a frigid Fat Tuesday.  State Climatologist Barry Keim says the temperatures are going to reach below freezing in Shreveport, Alexandria, and Lafayette. He says the big easy isn’t off the hook either…

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New Orleans will also face 15 mile per hour winds Monday and Tuesday as parades roll by.

Keim says there is good news though as the rain front should have passed through by then…

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Keim says anyone braving the cold will need a little more than a bottle of wine to keep them warm this Tuesday, but it shouldn’t be unbearable…

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Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain has sent a proposal that would allow GB Sciences and LSU to begin growing medical marijuana in a large scale, permanent facility. The Commissioner says State Police still need to finish background checks for the program, but if that checks out the growing could be set to significantly increase in scale.

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Strain says once the LSP background check is wrapped up, LSU will be put in charge of keeping an eye on the entire grow operation run by GB Sciences.

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At that point, GB will grow a final product, package it, and label it, and Strain says there will be one more test, and then it will be available for patients who have a prescription for the treatment.

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Anyone 17-year-old who is arrested, starting this month, will no longer be treated as an adult, but put through he juvenile justice system. Office of Juvenile Justice Deputy Secretary Dr. James Bueche says while they don’t expect to get any new arrivals until mid-month, it’ll be a smooth process because they won’t be treated any differently.

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Louisiana was previously part of a small minority of states to prosecute minors as adults in all cases.

With a larger population comes costs concerns. Critics of raising the age have pointed out that the juvenile system spends more money on programs to help young offenders than would be spent on a 17-year-old in adult jail. Bueche says he hopes the state delivers enough cash to maintain the program’s effectiveness.

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Despite in increase in costs to the system, Bueche says it’s worth it. The doctor says the juvenile justice system is far better equipped to help rehabilitate young people.

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The weekend may be in the rearview mirror, but the celebration of Mardi Gras continues.  Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser says there are many ways to celebrate in each part of the state.  It’s not always all about catching cheap plastic beads.

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Nungesser says while the President may pardon a turkey each Thanksgiving, Louisiana has its own spin on that tradition during Mardi Gras with crawfish.

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Nungesser says you may stumble upon some unique throws at different celebrations around the state.

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