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Garden City Woman Surrenders, Posts Bond In High-Profile Medical Marijuana Case

Bryan Thompson

A Garden City woman whose home was raided March 24 after her son took issue with an anti-marijuana presentation at school turned herself in yesterday at the Finney County Law Enforcement Center. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson was there.

38-year-old Shona Banda was booked into jail and later released after posting a $50,000 bond. Her attorney, Sarah Swain, of Lawrence, says Banda is charged with five counts—four of them marijuana-related—plus endangering a child. If convicted on all counts, she could be looking at 30 years behind bars.

“This is a woman who was using cannabis to treat a disease, Crohn’s Disease, that was absolutely debilitating," Swain says. "So, not only is it that she’s facing life imprisonment just due to the years, but essentially it’s a death sentence.”

Swain says cannabis oil cured Banda of her Crohn’s Disease, and if she goes to prison and can’t get that treatment, she will likely die.

Banda explains how she uses cannabis oil to manage her Crohn's Disease in this 2011 YouTube video:

According to Swain, Banda has been without the oil since her home was raided, and has lost a dramatic amount of weight as a result. She’s also had to undergo oral surgery, due to infections that Swain says had been kept at bay by cannabis oil.

Swain’s goal is to take Banda’s case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary, to stop marijuana from being classified as a Schedule 1 drug, defined as having no medicinal value.

This piece was originally published June 16, 2015.