Kansas marijuana activist says state violated rights when son was taken

April 9, 2017 - Crohns
Kansas marijuana activist says state violated rights when son was taken

In federal lawsuit Shona Banda claims state and its agencies infringed on her parenting, and police and school employees improperly questioned her son

A western Kansas woman is suing the state and some of the agencies involved in questioning and removing her 11-year-old son from her home after he spoke up at school about her possessing and using marijuana.

Shona Bandas federal lawsuit, filed on Thursday, alleges the state of Kansas and its agencies deprived her of her civil rights to treat a debilitating condition that she says is Crohns disease, the Wichita Eagle reported.

The Garden City woman, 38, also claims officials have infringed on her parenting, and that local police and school employees improperly questioned her son without her permission.

Bandas son was removed from her custody in March 2015, after authorities said he made comments during a drug-education program at his school that his mother and other adults at home were avid drug users.

Police said a subsequent search of her home uncovered more than a pound of marijuana, as well as cannabis oil and other drug-related items.

Spokespeople for Garden City public schools and Governor Sam Brownbacks office are declining comment, citing the pending litigation.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families, which is also named as a defendant, recommends children be removed from their homes when serious safety issues exist but not solely for marijuana use, spokeswoman Theresa Freed said.

The court has final say regarding placement of children, Freed said. Marijuana is an illegal substance in the state of Kansas. It can have both direct and indirect detrimental consequences on families.

Banda, who according to court records is acting as her own attorney in the lawsuit, filed on the one-year anniversary of the police raid, seeks unspecified damages.

Her lawsuit insists she educated her 11-year-old son about the substance and told him it is a medication. She never allowed that boy to use the drug, according to the suit.

Banda, the author of a book recounting her use of concentrated cannabis oil to treat Crohns, an inflammatory bowel disease, faces marijuana-related charges in Finney County. The status of that case was not immediately available on Saturday.

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