In states where medical marijuana is still not accessible or legal, it can mean big trouble for people who only find relief with cannabis. One such mother from Kansas has been battling a string of charges against her after her 11 year old son spoke up pro-marijuana at a drug and alcohol abuse class.
When Shona Banda’s 11 year old son spoke, he wanted the class to know that this was not his experience with marijuana – that his mother who had been chronically ill and getting worse had finally found relief and regained control of her life thanks to medical marijuana.
Unfortunately this lead to him being taken to the principal’s office to be questioned – the questioning lead the school to call CPS (child protective services) who in turn called the local police department. Without warning, their whole world was turned upside down.
Banda denied police entry into her home, so they obtained a search warrant. They found at least one ounce of marijuana, the set up to turn the raw cannabis into oil as well as other unidentified paraphernalia.
From all of this the charges she obtained included:
- 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
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
Stacked up like that these charges amount to nearly 30 years behind bars if Shona Banda is convicted.
It is common knowledge these days that you need a lot of raw cannabis flower in order to produce enough oil to use for medicinal benefits. The fact that there was at least an ounce, maybe more, should not automatically imply intent to sell – even if they live within 1,000 feet of the school, I don’t see how they could confuse self-medicating with intent to sell.
The simple fact is, Banda was doing what she found necessary to be able to take care of her family – before cannabis oil she was hardly functioning at all. It is so sad to see a family torn apart because the only relief came from an illegal source.
On top of all these charges, as if things couldn’t get any worse for this family – Banda’s son was supposed to have to testify against his mother! The same 11 year old son who stood up for his mother in that anti-marijuana segment of a drug and alcohol course.
In order to protect her son and keep him from being forced into being a prosecution witness (where they would likely twist anything he could say into a terrible story), Shona Banda was forced to give up her preliminary hearing. This hearing was to determine if there was enough evidence to proceed – now it seems they have no choice if they want to keep her son out of the cross fire.
Hopefully, if this makes it that far, a jury will see that this mother was doing what was necessary to care for her boys. If marijuana oil was all that was needed to take her from crippling pain to living a normal life, then should it really be for anyone to say she can’t have it? How is it that we can deny people lifesaving medication when it is so easy to obtain?