An Update On The Shona Banda Case
Banda filed her lawsuit in March, exactly a year after Garden City police raided her home and seized cannabis oil . The Kansas Department for Children and Families then took custody of her son, saying the home environment was not safe for him, and the Finney County district attorney filed drug-related criminal charges against Banda. The charges carry a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison.
In Kansas, possession of marijuana even for medical purposes is illegal. Banda’s lawsuit alleged that because many states have decriminalized marijuana possession, she had a “fundamental right” to medical cannabis, which she said she used to treat her Crohn’s disease.
The criminal case against Banda is pending. Banda has been a vocal advocate of medical marijuana and self-published a book about her use of cannabis oil to treat her condition, an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause severe abdominal pain and other symptomU.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten dismissed the lawsuit Tuesday, agreeing with the defendants’ contention that Banda had no right to use marijuana and the agencies had some immunity.
Banda says she intends to pursue the case after she recovers from a recent surgery.
After a Gofundme legal defense page was set up by a friend, they then had a falling out. The Gofundme page raised $50,000, $26,000 was paid to a criminal defense attorney in Lawrence, Kansas. Shona fired the attorney a few months later after feeling bullied and mistreated. The Gofundme me legal defense page has since been taken down and the rest of the money has not been accounted for.
Shona, at this point, is possibly more vulnerable than she has been since this battle began. Her health continues to waver under the stress and without reliable access to the medicine that has helped her heal; she recently spent nearly a month in a hospital in Boulder before undergoing surgery to remove scar tissue that was impacting her ability to breathe and she has been so I’ll that her public defender ordered an examination to see if she was fit to stand trial.