Medical marijuana advocate fights for custody of son


GARDEN CITY, Kansas – Shona Banda says she has used cannabis oil since 2009 to treat her Chrohn’s disease.  The mother swears by the medical benefits of the drug, and Monday nearly 50 people came out to rally for her and support medical marijuana.

“Cannabis is the most non-toxic substance on the planet, my home was much more dangerous with pharmaceuticals prescribed to me from doctors,” Banda said.

Her fight as a proponent of legal medical marijuana took a turn when her son talked about marijuana while he was at school.

“We asked for consent to search to go in and just to make sure it was a safe environment and make sure there was nothing illegal, she denied that consent,” said GCPD Captain Randy Ralston.

Ralston says a search warrant was obtained and police discovered more than a pound of marijuana in the home, along with drug paraphernalia.  The boy was put in Department of Children and Families protective custody.

Banda insists she never put her 11 year old in danger.  Because she was given a gag order it is still unclear if Banda will lose custody of her son, but the Garden City Police Department tells says that after Monday’s hearing the boy remains in protective care.

DCF says about 19 percent of home removals are because of drug use, and while loss of custody is up to the judge they work to reconnect families.

Banda says she’ll continue fighting for both her son and medical drug use.

“I feel like I’ve been able to be a better mother now, and I have a better quality of life.  I shouldn’t have my child taken away because I can actually do things with him now, it’s wrong,” she said.

Banda has not been charged with anything yet, the Finney County Attorney could pursue charges ranging from felony possession of drug paraphernalia to child endangerment.

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