We've been hearing a lot about Shona Banda, the Kansas mom suffering from Crohn's disease facing five marijuana-related charges, including three felonies, after her 11-year-old son said in a drug education class that his mom "smokes a lot." Banda uses cannabis oil to treat her Crohn's disease.
Police raided Banda's home in Garden City last March, and seized marijuana and paraphernalia. Authorities also took her son into protective state custody. She is now facing facing drug and child endangerment charges, though her arraignment has now been postponed until July to give defence more time to prepare. She faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
Meanwhile, the Garden City mother is now suing the state and some of the agencies involved in questioning and removing the 11-year-old from her home last spring.
Banda claims in the lawsuit that the state and the agencies are depriving her of her civil rights to treat her debilitating disease, as well as her right to parent her child. She also alleged her constitutional rights were violated when the Garden City Police Department questioned her son without her permission and searched her property without a warrant.
Banda is demanding payment of an unspecified amount for what she calls ongoing pain and suffering. A Wichita jury will hear the case.
"The powers that be have gained way too much control when they think that they can do these kinds of things even with your children," Banda told Wichita's NPR station.
Banda, who sued state officials late last week, says using cannabis oil for her condition is a "fundamental right": she's even written a book called Live Free or Die: Reclaim Your Life…Reclaim Your Country! in which she discusses the arguments for legal medical cannabis.
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