September 28, 2022

Investigation of Medical Marijuana Advocate Sparks National Debate


Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com) Her story has made its way over social media and now has been picked up by major newspapers across the country including the Washington Post. 

The story started March 24th when Shona Banda’s 11 year old son refuted claims during a drug education class about marijuana, defending its use for medical purposes.  Her son had previously lived in Colorado. Afterward Banda says her son was detained by school officials and police were notified.  Banda who says she was doing her taxes at the time met officers as she returned home.  Her discussion with police was recorded and posted on line.

Banda was asked by police if she would give permission to have officers search the premises and she refused.  Officers then informed her that until they obtained a search warrant, Banda would not be able to enter her home.  Police after obtaining a warrant entered the home and found two ounces of cannabis oil.  Officers say they also found 1 1/4 pounds of suspected marijuana which they have taken to a state facility for testing. Banda tells our news department she was informed at that time that she was not being arrested, but it was expected that charges would be filed.  As of Monday, Banda says she has not been charged with any crime.

Banda wrote a book on the topic of medical marijuana “Live Free or Die”.  The book published several year ago details Banda’s experience and how medical marijuana helped her deal with Crohn’s Disease.  There are also plans about turning her book into a movie.

As you can imagine Banda’s situation has stirred up controversy.  Marijuana or cannabis use is illegal in Kansas, but critics are concerned because Banda’s son had his own words used against his mom.  Law enforcement is looking at it as the law is clear.  Banda has even told her son to be careful because Colorado does not have the same view of marijuana or cannabis use that Kansas does.

Banda’s supporters say they plan a rally at 8 Monday morning from the Finney County courthouse at the same time her custody hearing is scheduled.