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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    From the website run by investigative journalist Ben Swann: On March 24, cannabis oil activist Shona Banda‘s life was flipped upside-down after her son was taken from her by the State of Kansas. The ordeal started when police and counselors at her 11-year-old son’s school conducted a drug education class. Her son, who had previously lived in Colorado for a period of time, disagreed with some of the anti-pot points that were being made by school officials. “My son says different things like my ‘Mom calls it cannabis and not marijuana.’ He let them know how educated he was on the facts,” said Banda in an exclusive interview with BenSwann.com. Banda successfully treated her own Crohn’s disease with cannabis oil.

    After her son spoke out about medical marijuana, police detained him and launched a raid on Shona Banda’s home. “Well, they had that drug education class at school that was just conducted by the counselors… They pulled my son out of school at about 1:40 in the afternoon and interrogated him. Police showed up at my house at 3… I let them know that they weren’t allowed in my home without a warrant… I didn’t believe you could get a warrant off of something a child says in school.” Banda continued, “We waited from 3 o’clock until 6 o’clock. They got a warrant at 6 o’clock at night and executed a warrant into my home. My husband and I are separated, and neither parent was contacted by authorities before [our son] was taken and questioned.”

    The police apparently found 2 ounces of cannabis oil in her home. She fears that the state will now attempt to take her son away. She has a custody hearing on Monday.

    I contacted the Garden City Police Department to verify some of the details that have been reported online. A spokesman confirmed that officers had searched Banda’s home, though he denied it was a raid. He also said the initial anti-drug program was put on entirely by the school — the police had no involvement. At that event Banda’s son apparently contradicted some of the claims made about marijuana. The school then contacted the child protection agency, which then contacted the police. Officers from the department showed up at Banda’s at home and asked her permission to conduct a search. She refused. They then obtained a warrant and searched her home. The spokesman wouldn’t comment on exactly what was found, except to say that there was “evidence” of drug activity. Banda was then arrested and her son was seized from the home. Currently, there are no criminal charges against her. The spokesman wouldn’t comment on whether charges may be forthcoming. He added that possession of marijuana is illegal in Kansas, without exception.

    The absurdity here of course is that a woman could lose her custody of her child for therapeutically using a drug that’s legal for recreational use an hour to the west. It seems safe to say that the amount of the drug she had in her home was an amount consistent with personal use. (If she had been distributing, she’d almost certainly have been charged by now.)

    This boy was defending his mother’s use of a drug that helps her deal with an awful condition. Because he stuck up for his mother, the state arrested her and ripped him away from her. Even he is eventually returned to his mother (as he ought to be), the school, the town, and the state of Kansas have already done a lot more damage to this kid than Banda’s use of pot to treat her Crohn’s disease ever could.

    Banda’s supporters have now set up a legal defense fund page for her at Go Fund Me.

    Radley Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He is the author of the book "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces."

    By Radley Balko - The Washington Post/April 187, 2015
    Photos: Wasaunews; gofundme
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. 5-HT2A
    Leave it to dysfunctional, reactionary Kansas to fuck up a child's welfare and destroy a family in the name of children's welfare. Astonishing what still happens in the "land of the free." Apparently the only thing this boy will be free from are his loving parents and the medicine he actually needs. I had a friend who completely brought his Crohn's under control with medical pot that he got when he lived in Colorado. He stopped taking the hormone injections which cost about $1000/month. I feel like that raid is partly in the name of big pharma.
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    I can't help but think that those who set the raid in motion did so right in the wake of last week's California Federal Judge's insane ruling that left cannabis (and its oil) on the list as a Schedule 1 narcotic. Had that not happened, I cannot help but think that even if they are and have been after this woman for a while they wouldn't have come down on her so both-barreled as they now have. I've got a feeling we're going to see a lot more of this kind of thinking and action with those Americans who do not want cannabis legalized as medication or otherwise.
  3. Joe-(5-HTP)
    This is pretty awful isn't it.

    It's moral outrages like this which will eventually only strengthen the legalisation movement though.
  4. Ghetto_Chem
    This is truly sad. But I think brings up something that needs to be talked about, when as a cannabis using parent do you talk to your kids about cannabis like this woman apparently did with her son? When are children smart enough to know to keep their mouths shut when put into situations like these?

    I think mom probably neglected to talk to her child when they made the move to Kansas, that they were living somewhere different and less accepting of those practices. Although they don't make clear what he said before in class and after during the interrogation of this poor child. No matter what a kids probably going to break under such conditions, that was very very wrong.

    Personally as someone who's smoked with close family since I was young. I think 11 is too young to talk about using cannabis as a medicine especially when legalization is still a work in progress. Once we are really there then this can change but for now I think 14-15 is probably a more appropriate age. By this point a child is smart enough to know the consequences if they accidentally spill it to someone. Also its really easy to hide cannabis use from younger children but once they get around 14-15 they learn enough to know what mom or dad is doing. I just see no reason to risk both yourself and your childrens safety.

    With all that said, this woman needs her child back NOW. This is completely fucked up and it just tears me up inside, lawyers should be able to handle it well though.

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