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Woman Discovers Cure For Crohn's Disease, Kansas Throws Her In Jail

Woman Discovers Cure For Crohn's Disease, Kansas Throws Her In Jail

A 38-year-old Kansas woman who lost custody of her 11-year-old son and faces charges that could send her to prison for 30 years over her use of medical marijuana was released on bail last week.

Shona Banda, who has a severely debilitating case of Crohn’s disease, now prepares for the fight of her life -- one that her attorney is hoping will not just keep her client out of prison and restore custody of her child, but one that she hopes will cripple “absurd, archaic and outdated marijuana laws that should have been changed decades ago” in Kansas and the rest of the United States.

Shona Banda uses marijuana, and makes no bones about it. She has publicly said she uses cannabis oil to treat her Crohn's disease and even authored a book about it: Live Free or Die: Reclaim Your Life…Reclaim Your Country!

That doesn't go over too well in conservative western Kansas. Once her son inadvertently challenged drug war orthodoxy, the school contacted the Department of Children and Families and the Garden City police, who raided Banda's home and reported, "approximately 500 grams of suspected marijuana, multiple marijuana smoking pipes, three ‘vaporizers’ that were actively manufacturing cannabis oil and multiple other items related to packaging and ingestion of marijuana were seized from the residence."

Banda was charged with 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. She's facing up to 28 years in state prison for trying to treat her illness.

The distribution charge is especially outrageous, since it is based solely on the amount of marijuana seized and with no evidence of actual distribution. Preparing cannabis oil requires large amounts of raw material.

To add insult to injury, the state also taken her son, placing him first with his father, then in "protective custody," then back with his father. Now Banda has only limited access to her child.

On Monday, as she and her attorney, Sarah Swain, prepared for a preliminary hearing, Banda's ordeal went from the nightmarish to the surreal, as prosecutors made a surprise announcement that they planned to put her son on the stand to testify against her.

"That’s the most heinous thing I have ever heard," a shocked Banda was overheard telling Swain as the attorney asked for a recess in the hearing.

Preliminary hearings are set to see if a judge thinks there is sufficient evidence for the case to be prosecuted. Banda, who has repeatedly pledged to fight the charges and plead not guilty, was forced to waive her right to the preliminary hearing in order to protect her son from having to testify against his own mother.

"We came to court today fully prepared to litigate these issues," Swain wrote in a status update. "However, everything came to a screeching halt when we were informed that the state intended to put Shona’s 11-year-old son on the stand to testify against his mother. After a long discussion, we made the decision to waive the remainder of this hearing to limit any further trauma to the boy."

Finney County district attorney Susan Richmeier, who is prosecuting the case, said she would not have called Banda's son to testify if it were not necessary.

"It's not our intent to terrorize children," she said. She also noted, with no apparent sense of irony, that the county offered "victim services," such as counseling to the boy who was kidnapped from his mother.

Rick Simpson speaks on Shona Banda

Source: Youtube
Posted By The Health Cure, December 15 2015

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