GARDEN CITY, KS – On March 24, 2015, school officials became aware that a mother of one of the students was using medical cannabis to treat her Crohn’s disease.
Later that day, Garden City Police executed a search warrant that uncovered 1.25 pounds of cannabis in the home of Shona Banda. They placed her in handcuffs and sent her 11-year-old son to Child Protective Services.
Today, the 37-year-old mother faces felony charges and up to 30 years in prison for:
1. Five felony counts of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.
2 . Unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance.
3. Two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.
4. Endangering the life of a minor.
5. Possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance within 1000 feet of school property.
Banda uses cannabis to treat her Crohn’s disease, a debilitating autoimmune disease that affects the gastrointestinal track and can leave many patients with episodes of uncontrollable diarrhea and rectal bleeding. After seventeen surgeries, Doctors prescribed Banda a powerful narcotic, Fentanyl, believed to be 100x more powerful than morphine, and already linked to several deaths… “They didn’t think that I would live long,” she said, and that was when she decided to begin treating herself with cannabis, a drug that is still federally listed as a schedule I narcotic.
Banda told the Washington Post: “I spent years raising my children from the couch, not being able to move much,” Banda has an 18-year-old son as well. “I wasn’t able to be a proper mother when I was sick. And now I am a fantastic mother,” she said. It’s all because she began using a plant that has no ties to any advertising pharmaceutical entity and no deaths associated with its use to treat her disease. She tells her story about treating the disease in her book, Live Free or Die. But today, her pursuit of freedom could cost 30 years in prison.
On March 24, when Banda returned to her Garden City home to find police officers and two social workers roaming around the premises. She asked them what they were doing, and the female officer replied “we have a right to be where the public has a right to be.” To which the Banda replied, “the public does not have the right to be in my backyard…”
In an article featured in the Kansas City Star, Banda poses a question to all Kansan’s: “Are you okay with your tax dollars being spent like this?”