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Cannabis Activist Shona Banda Files Lawsuit Against State Of Kansas And Others For Wrongfully Taking Her Son

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shona banda medical marijuana kansasShona Banda is a longtime cannabis activist in Kansas that suffers from Crohn’s disease. Cannabis has been proven to be very effective at treating Crohn’s disease, and as such, Ms. Banda consumed cannabis oil as part of her treatment regimen, and did so responsibly. Unfortunately cannabis is illegal in Kansas, even for medical purposes. Kansas’ harsh marijuana laws have torn Shona’s life apart.

It all started on a normal day at a school that Shona’s son attended (he is 11). During a presentation Shona’s son spoke up in support of medical cannabis. That then lead to school officials contacting law enforcement and essentially interrogating the poor boy, all without Shona Banda or the boy’s father being contacted first. That unauthorized contact with the son then lead to the raid of Shona’s home. The cops took all of her medicine and all of the equipment that was used to make cannabis oil. The authorities also took Shona’s son.

I can’t imagine what level of sadness Shona (and her son) have had to endure. From what I’ve read, Shona’s son is no longer in state custody, and is living with his father. On the one year anniversary of when this all started, which was Thursday, Shona Banda filed a lawsuit against the State of Kansas and other authorities that participated in the removal of her child. Per Kansas.Com:

The Garden City mother who has become a face of the medicinal marijuana legalization movement in Kansas is suing the state and some of the agencies involved in questioning and removing her 11-year-old son from her home last spring after he spoke up about her cannabis use at school.

Shona Banda claims in the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, that the state and the agencies are depriving her of her civil rights to treat a debilitating condition she suffers from and to parent her child. She also claims employees at her son’s school and the Garden City Police Department violated her constitutional rights when they questioned her son without parental permission and searched her property without a warrant.

The 20-page suit names the state, Gov. Sam Brownback; Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore; the Garden City Police Department and its chief, James R. Hawkins; and Garden City Unified School District 457 and one of its former counselors, Tyler Stubenhoffer, as defendants.

There is a GoFundMe page setup for Shona. You can donate to it at this link here. The State of Kansas is ripping families apart and ruining lives in the process. Kansas is the same state that took Raymond Schwab’s kids too. No one should ever have their children taken from them because they are treating their condition in a responsible way. I’m a parent, and I couldn’t imagine having my son taken from me. My heart hurts very much for these parents, and for their children.

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  • David Yoseph Schreiber

    Much of the expense of a legal battle goes to paying lawyers. Charges of $100 to $400 per hour are common. On top of that many hours may be needed to adequately present the case.

    Lawyers can be extremely unscrupulous. For example if you pay them less they will present a weak case or even intentionally lose it. If you pay them a lot they will present a strong case, throw in a few tricks, and even donate a case of whiskey to a social club honoring the judge on his birthday.

    Much of the expense is not necessary. The defendant, though, must retain and exercise the right to represent himself.

    This takes a lot of time. The law must be thoroughly researched. This can be done via the internet, also enlist the support of sympathetic lawyers for ideas and review. They will give you an outline, but you must do the legwork yourself. Also the presentation must be polished and rehearsed. Lawyers in fact take acting lessons for this. Your own witnesses must be coached. Be careful of suborning perjury. Expect the prosecutor to know how to get around these restrictions. The witnesses for the prosecution must be interrogated in court. Count on them being hostile, slippery, and outright liars. The trick is to catch them in their lies in court or to have them flip out. If you have a cruel streak, now is the time to use it.

    This is not enough because the judge is going to cover for the prosecution, just like the prosecution covers for the judge. To deal with that you must pressure the judge. This can be done by speaking on the radio, newspaper stories, and public speeches. You need to be clever about this so as not to violate issues concerning a court case in progress. It is done all the time though. In addition make the rounds with the politicians. Very few judges primarily make their decisions based on the facts as they relate to the law. Rather it’s cronyism, cheap melodramas, high legal fees which somehow wind up coming in their direction. It is now established that not only is cannabis safe, but it is beneficial as well. The case will be won if the judge sees that s/he attaching himself to the losing side.

    • 2buds4me

      And on a similar note – speaking of legal teams – and in another state (LA) I have a friend who was pulled over for a traffic violation and found to have a duffel bag of weed in the truck bed, several pounds. He hired the slickest legal team he could find. They held off trial by continuance for over 3 years while my buddy paid them monthly installments for his defense. When he had finally paid them over $30,000 the lawyer went to court and got the case thrown out. A conviction would have had him rotting for decades in prison but a well placed $30k bought him his freedom. Several years later he says it was very painful, but worth every penny.

      • David Yoseph Schreiber

        A nice story. If one is going to make it a business, it’s a good idea to set aside money to pay for contingencies. Think of it like fire insurance. When it comes to 30,000, that’s not hay.

        A discussion of legal approaches among friends is a good idea. Another is to go for a hung jury or even a sympathetic jury. For example, when choosing jurors, choose stoners and people who hate the cops, especially if they are wise to their games. Also pick people who do not believe that money should be spent on the drug war. The lawyer should scream and yell. He need not really be saying anything but should convey an attitude of outrage and anger. Another approach is to follow the legal reasoning the case in Mexico in which the Mexican Supreme Court effectively legalized marijuana. Act as if you are preparing a case based on constitutional law to be heard by the Supreme Court. Keep in mind that the Supreme Court legalized abortion based on a woman’s right to privacy. You could win in the Supreme Court. The prosecution knows this and it rattles them .

        The moral foundation that the accused must cling to is this. Cannabis is a beneficial substance especially the mentality that it produces. Therefore its prohibition is simply persecution of good people. And the prosecutors et al are mercenaries, fools, and outright criminals.

  • Michael Miller

    I wish Shona the best of luck, and will certainly donate. This oppression needs to stop now.

  • saynotohypocrisy

    Kansas doesn’t have a clue about the meaning of “liberty and justice for all”. Judging by how they suppress medicine, their core values are hatred, cynicism, hypocrisy and sadism.

  • Megan Mayabb

    Good luck, Shona! I’m behind you all the way, if I was a KS resident, I would sign whatever petition I need to do people can get the help they need. Legalize it!! Apparently, they have NO idea about all the great benefits that the NATURAL plant has…

    • saynotohypocrisy

      Their hatred for recreational use (which is already perverse enough, coming from a bunch of alcohol lovers) has so unhinged them, it’s made them deaf, dumb and blind to the crucial, non-toxic, inexpensive herbal medicine in front of their eyes. The drug warriors are suffering from war fever, which is known for warping judgement.

  • kent clouatre

    I just road threw Kansas and got stopped for having a handycap sign above my rearview mirror! And the officer said where you going and I told him to se my family he can we search I said no but he got the dog out anyway! And I had a dog! Didn’t have any green didn’t smoke any green so the officer is betting on the Windows telling the dog get it boy !! and puts the dog up! And started looking threw the car! And didn’t smell or find anything! So I said I bet u 100 dollars that if you say that dog hit on the car is caused by my dog he said no?? But you didn’t find anything?? So I think we need to video these traffic stops and show people what they dew! And my gas cap was open o boy! Then let me go omg.

  • kathy n

    Kansas is a shithole filled with ignorance. sue them and win. we support you.

  • Nathaniel

    It is one of the most traumatic things that could happen to a responsible mother and the state did this heinous act. I thought they were suppose to protect families not tear them apart like they did Veteran Raymond Schwab and his wife Amelia. All because people were making a life changing decision that was going to benefit the family as a whole. He wasn’t even trying to get beneath the law. The man was trying to move to a state that shared similar values and he got punished for it in the worst way possible.
    What kind of message does that send? As governing bodies shouldn’t you want our nation wide interests to grow to be happy and productive members of the society we see fit to build? Being punitive simply out of spite just seems like you hate the fact you lost the war on drugs, and pouting means someone loses their lives because of it.
    State governments governing at this level is so disruptive and destructive.
    Legalize everything, everywhere, and be done with it.