A Kansas mother is fighting to regain custody of her son after he dared to contradict the instructors of a drug “education” class in his school and tell the truth about marijuana.
Barry Donegan, writing at BenSwann.com, tells the story of Shona Banda and her 11-year-old son, who was taken by Kansas authorities on March 24 after he spoke up about misinformation regarding marijuana being presented to students at his school. Banda is a cannabis activist, who has given cannabis oil credit for relieving her from the debilitating pain of Crohn’s disease.
A report by The Human Solution International says that, following questioning of her son, police raided Banda’s home, where they found two ounces of marijuana and one ounce of cannabis oil. Despite the find, there have been no charges filed against Banda. However, she lost custody of her son.
On March 27, a hearing was held and temporary custody of the boy was given to his father, who is separated from Banda. The judge observed that, since Banda was facing possible felony charges, there was no point in sending the boy back to live with her. Banda believes the state is trying to take custody of her child away from her. She says:
The state is trying to deem it to where [Shona’s ex-husband] is not fit and I’m not fit and they’re trying to take custody of our child.
According to the Garden City Telegram, the boy was taken back into police custody on April 16, in advance of a custody hearing that will be held on Monday, April 20. Either someone in the court’s scheduling office has a sense of humor, or officials totally missed the irony in the fact that 4/20 is an important date for marijuana activists. At that time, the court will decide whether to return the boy to Banda, leave him with his father, place him with other relatives, or possibly make him a ward of the state.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for Banda.
The website Kansas Exposed reports that Banda’s Facebook page has been shut down by Garden City, Kansas, police, because she was using it to raise funds for her legal defense. The accuracy of that report is unclear, as a Facebook page managed by Banda, “Shona Banda’s Live Free Or Die,” is accessible on Facebook as of April 18. It is curious, though, that the last entry from Banda on that page was dated April 14, 2014.
Some of Banda’s friends have set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for her legal fees. So far, the page has exceeded its goal of $15,000, but it is entirely possible that Banda’s costs could exceed that amount. You can donate to Banda’s defense fund by clicking here.
Banda says she can’t be upset at her son for what happened. She says that he used to live in Colorado, and she has tried to explain to him that while marijuana is completely legal in Colorado, it is completely illegal in Kansas, which does not even have a medical marijuana law. “It’s very confusing for a child,” she tells Donegan. The hodgepodge of marijuana laws across the country are tough for many adults to keep track of, so who can blame an 11-year-old for not knowing them?
Governor Sam Brownback wanted to create a Libertarian utopia in Kansas to prove that things like “trickle down” economics work. Not only is he proving the monumental failure of the Libertarian policies he embraces, he is also ignoring that true Libertarians are opposed to the war on drugs, which, it appears from this story, continues full force in Kansas.
Featured image via screen capture from YouTube