By William “Stash” Jones
Oregon Cannabis Connection
Shona Banda, the cannabis activist in Kansas who had her children removed for treating her Chrohn’s disease with medical marijuana, had her lawsuit against the state and local authorities tossed out by a Federal Judge on Tuesday, December 27th. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten found that Banda failed to respond to the the defendants’ “prima facie valid arguments” in a four page order. Those defendants included the state of Kansas; the Kansas Department for Children and Families; DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore; Gov. Sam Brownback; the Garden City Police Department; the Garden City police chief, James R. Hawkins; the Garden City School District; and an employee of the school district, Tyler Stubenhoffer.
In her lawsuit, Banda asked the court to restore custody of her son, declare that she has a “fundamental right” to use cannabis oil to treat her Crohn’s disease, and also to award damages that were not specified. She was representing herself in the controversial case.
In March 2015, Banda’s home was raided by police after her 11 year old son had defended her medical cannabis use at school, correcting inaccurate and false information about marijuana that was presented during a school anti-drug presentation. Subsequently, the local police raided her home and seized marijuana, cannabis oil and processing equipment during the raid. The local County District Attorney filed charges against Banda, and the Kansas Department for Children and Families removed her son from the home, stating it was an “unsafe” environment. As is customary in draconian Kansas, the charges filed against her carry a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison.
The criminal case against her is still pending in Finney County. Last November, the judge handling the case granted a defense motion to evaluate Banda for “mental competency”. She agreed to the evaluation, which is scheduled for January 5th. The charges she faces include endangering a child, distribution or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of school property, unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Banda has been a staunch medical cannabis activist and has even authored a book titled, Live Free or Die. She can also be found in YouTube videos and contributing to online articles that advocate for her belief in the medicinal benefits of cannabis oil. She has a Facebook page, too, titled “Live Free or Die”
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