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Marijuana Activist Mother Has 11-Year-Old Son Taken Away

Medical marijuana activist, Shona Banda, has temporarily lost custody of her 11-year-old son following comments he made during a drug education program at his school. 

His comments sparked an investigation by authorities into whether Shona was exposing the boy to heavy drug use at the family home. 

Ap.org reports:

The case of Shona Banda, 37, was forwarded Monday to the Finney County district attorney’s office for a decision about charges, Garden City Police Capt. Randy Ralston said. Possible charges include possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia and child endangerment, the department said in a news release.

No arrests have been made.

The divorced Garden City mother said she did not get custody of her son back following a hearing Monday in Finney County District Court, after Kansas authorities had placed the boy into protective custody.

“That’s OK — I am not giving up,” Banda said. “I will, I will get him and I am not going to stop until I do.”

Banda, a motivational speaker and author on the medical marijuana issue, has been at the center of a social media storm after she went public with her story. Several supporters rallied Monday at a park near the courthouse.

“It is a hot topic all across the United States,” Ralston said of the social media attention. “It doesn’t surprise me.”

Banda is the author of a book “Live Free or Die: Reclaim your Life . . . Reclaim your Country!” that recounts her use of a concentrated cannabis oil to treat Crohn’s Disease.

A gag order has since been issued in the custody case, Banda said. Her attorney, Sarah Swain, did not respond to a phone message left at her office.

Banda’s legal problems began March 24 when police were called to her son’s school for a child welfare check following a drug and alcohol presentation. Investigators allege the boy told school officials that his mother and other adults in his home were avid drug users and that there was a lot of drug use occurring at the home.

Banda refused to allow officers to search the home, and police stayed at the scene and denied her entry to it until they could obtain a search warrant. A search subsequently found about 1¼ pounds of marijuana and a lab for manufacturing cannabis oil on the kitchen table and counters, drug paraphernalia and other related items, police said. Authorities said the items were within easy reach of the child.

“The most important thing here is the child’s well-being,” Ralston said. “That is why it is a priority for us, just because of the danger to the child.”

Authorities took the boy into protective custody and placed him with his father, Ralston said. But when the boy ended back with his mother again, authorities then took the boy back into protective custody.

Garden City School Superintendent Rick Atha said the school is cooperating with the investigation and declined further comment.

The Kansas Department of Children and Families also declined to talk about the case, citing confidentiality reasons. But its spokeswoman, Theresa Freed, said that generally the agency’s goal ultimately is to “keep families together when it is safe to do so.”

The latest available figures show that between July 1, 2014, and March 31 of this year Kansas removed 306 children from their homes because of alleged drug abuse by a parent, not counting cases involving methamphetamine. That accounts for 11 percent of the child welfare removals in Kansas.

  • frabn

    Good, Dumb bitch is a shining example why I will always have – ZERO – respect for all the cultish potheads out there. You don’t advocate medical use by getting your pre-pubescent kid high every day.

    • Cabron Antipijo

      This woman wasn’t getting her child high,dumbass! She has Chron’s disease and therefore must smoke/vaporize cannabis daily,but that doesn’t mean her kid is getting high. They took her kid away from her because he dared speak the truth. Following ur idiotic assumption then people who take Valium or Vico dies should have their kids taken away too. It’s easy to make such moronic assumptions like ur’s when ur NOT the one with a debilitating disease or condition.

      • frabn

        I have 2 family members with Crohn’s too. You don’t smoke pot for Crohn’s, period. Other articles that aren’t blindly advocating pot use about this situation show that she is exposing her kid to pot smoke openly, where she should be going off somewhere else, not exposing him to it. She also feels that it’s right to expose him to it.

        God, I love the swayed logic of potheads and how they advocate for freely smoking up in public and exposing others. It’s just as dangerously intoxicating as alcohol. The difference between alcohol and pot is that I have a choice not to put alcohol in my body, whereas I do NOT have a choice to keep pot out of my body if others decide to smoke it around me. That kid has no choice but to be exposed to a drug. Failed parenting.

        • Cabron Antipijo

          How do u know that she is exposing her child? Many medical Marijuana patients DON’T smoke. Vaporizing and oral solutions as well as edibles are consumed by many patients,so STFU with ur ignorant and hysterical witch hunt attitude. I bet u keep real quiet when catholic clergy râpé or molest some kid.I know ur type. Alcoholic catholic abusive parents are probably OK in ur book,am sure

          • frabn

            Wow…so because I’m not a stoner, I’m automatically a religious nut that condones pedophilia? Keep showing your intelligence, stoners. You’re on a roll.

          • Cabron Antipijo

            U seem very STUCK up on what is a stoner. Go back to the dark ages,dumbfuck! If ur not a religious ur a political but either ur an irrational nutcase. Im sure we could be a very successful slavedriver,u have that authoritarian,nazi tone.

          • frabn

            Not religious, don’t give a fuck about politics, but because I’m not a stoner, i’m an irrational nutcase and Nazi? Wow…thanks for that intelligent assessment. I shudder to think of what your perception of the real world is, if you can ever see it beyond your smokey haze.