Shona Banda: Police rip child who argued school drugs policy from medical cannabis oil using mother
Shona Banda has a problem of location. Her Chrohn’s disease can be legally treated with cannabis in Colorado, where she’d lived for some time. Shona uses cannabis oil. She says it helps. But in the State of Kansas, her current home, using cannabis for the same condition makes her a criminal.
Trouble began when Shona’s 11-year-old was at his Kansas school’s drug education class. She tells Ben Swann that the lad told the drugs expert: “Mom calls it cannabis and not marijuana.” Says Shona: “He let them know how educated he was on the facts.”
The drugs expert told the police. And they came over to Shona’s place:
“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 went away with 2 ounces of cannabis oil in her home.
Radley Balko investigated:
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.
On Monday, Shona Banda will find out if her son will taken from her.
You wonder what the drugs wonk and the police are smoking…