Medical Marijuana Advocate Charged After Son Defends Drug in Classroom Presentation
On March 24th, medical marijuana advocate Shona Banda, who lives in Kansas, had her son taken away by Child Protective Services, and her home raided, after her son defended medical marijuana during a classroom presentation.
Police and educators were conducting a regular drug education class at Banda’s son’s elementary school, which is a routine part of trying to prevent drug addiction. The family had previously lived in Colorado, which has had legal medical marijuana laws for years, and in 2012, legalized recreational marijuana. The boy had different views on the safety of “pot,” and disagreed to law enforcement officers.
Reportedly, the family lived in Colorado temporarily so Banda could treat her 11-year-old son’s Crohn’s disease with medical marijuana. Marijuana use of any kind, whether medical or recreational, is illegal in Kansas.
After the boy spoke out at the anti-drug presentation, police detained him and used his dissent as basis for a search warrant. They raided the Bandas’ home.
“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 said.
“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 medical marijuana search uncovered 2 ounces of cannabis oil in Banda’s house. A custody hearing on March 27th placed the boy in his father’s custody – Banda and her former husband are separated.
Like South Carolina, Kansas has stiff penalties for drug possession and processing, including cannabis oil. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a very limited medical marijuana bill into law last year, but the legislation does not allow a user to process their own medical marijuana, even if it is specifically CBD oil for the limited conditions listed in the bill. In Kansas, possession of any small amount of marijuana is at least a misdemeanor and is punishable with jail time, up to one year. Manufacturing a controlled substance, which would include medical marijuana, could be a felony offense.
However, Banda says that she would not fault her son for speaking up in class about medical marijuana. “For him to have spoken up in class I can’t be upset about because he hears me daily on the phone talking with people, encouraging people to speak up and speak out,” she said. “We did have the talk about how it’s not OK to bring this up in Kansas, because it’s a different state [than Colorado]. It’s very confusing for a child.”
The Strom Law Firm Defends Drug Charges for Medical Marijuana in South Carolina
If you face drug charges for possessing or manufacturing medical marijuana in South Carolina because you have a legal prescription in another state, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We understand the complex and frightening drug charges in the state, and will fight to defend your rights in court. We offer a free, confidential consultation to discuss your drug charges, so contact us today for help. 803.252.4800