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Kansas activist faces charges for using marijuana to treat her illness
Marijuana is the most commonly abused drug in the United States. It is obtained from cannabis sativa or hemp plant. Considering its analgesic property, 23 U.S. states and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana use in some form.
Though various bills have been introduced in the Kansas Legislature in the past five years to legalize marijuana for treating a wide range of illnesses, nothing concrete came of them. A bill to legalize low-THC marijuana was introduced in 2015, but it was stalled this year just after one hearing. All this has left the public in a state of fix wherein people face dire consequences when caught using marijuana even for medicinal purposes.
One such case is that of Garden City resident Shona Banda, a mother and author of a book on the use of concentrated cannabis oil to treat Crohn’s disease. In August 2015, criminal drug charges were slapped against Banda for using marijuana oil to treat her Crohn’s disease. Now, Banda intends to file a lawsuit asserting a constitutional right to use marijuana to treat her Crohn’s disease.
A prominent voice in the medical marijuana community, Banda speaks about how she created her own oil from marijuana to treat the symptoms of Crohn’s, a painful bowel ailment. However, law enforcement and Kansas Department of Children and Families officials found out about Banda from her 11-year-old son, who said “my mom smokes … a lot” during an anti-drug program at a Garden City school. In April 2015, investigation officials found marijuana and a device for extracting oil from it at Banda’s house.
Banda, along with Lawrence attorney Sarah Swain and California lawyer Matthew Pappas, has decided to file a lawsuit, but due to logistics there was a delay in filing the case. Banda believes it’s important to fight the case and make the authorities concerned accountable to help those who are genuinely using marijuana to cure a disease and are not abusing it. The case will be heard in July where she will be allowed to submit the medicinal benefits of marijuana.
Banda told The Garden City Telegram that she is aware using marijuana to treat her condition is illegal, but not using it is worse than any legal consequences. She said, “I don’t want to get sick again. I’m not afraid of prison. I’m afraid of my own personal hell and I never, ever will go back.”
For years the government has been spending billions of dollars on campaign against marijuana, which is relatively a harmless drug than alcohol and tobacco, say experts. The evaluation of health impacts between marijuana, alcohol and tobacco shows that pot is substantially less harmful than the other two and its medical benefits outweigh the advantages over the other two. The evaluation cannot be concluded on harmful aspects of the drug, still a number of people get addicted to these secretive drugs.
If any misconceptions or myths associated with drug addiction have prevented you or your loved one from taking the treatment for de-addiction, now is the time to act. You may chat with the experts at Kansas City Drug Treatment and Rehab Center online, or call our 24/7 helpline number 816-399-2323 for further information.