Medical Marijuana

Kansas Medical Marijuana Patient Faces Years in Prison

After losing custody of her son, Shona Banda may now lose her freedom.



Shona Banda, the Kansas medical marijuana activist who lost custody of her 11-year-old son in April after police found cannabis in her home, now faces criminal charges that could send her to prison for years. On Friday the Finney County attorney, Susan Richmeier, announced that she is charging Banda, whose home was searched after her son dared to question anti-pot propaganda passed off as "drug education" at his school, with five crimes: child endangerment, possession of drug paraphernalia (two counts), manufacture of a controlled substance (the cannabis oil she used to treat her Crohn's disease), and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of school property. All five charges are related to Banda's medical use of marijuana, which is allowed in 23 states but not Kansas.

Distribution of marijuana within a school zone carries a mandatory minimum sentence of four years; the maximum penalty is seven years. The manufacturing charge is punishable by up to 17 years in prison. Child endangerment can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony; likewise the paraphernalia charges. Citing Banda's attorney, The Washington Post reports that all five charges are felonies, which means she could face "a maximum of 30 years in prison." By contrast, The Garden City Telegram says only three of the charges are felonies and "Banda faces a potential sentence of 138 to 204 months," the same range cited by the Associated Press. Whether the maximum is 30 years or a mere 17, Banda is unlikely to serve that long. But a four-year sentence is a very real possibility, given the mandatory minimum for possession with intent to distribute near a school.

Mind you, there does not appear to be any evidence that Banda was selling pot to schoolkids, or that her son, who is now living with her ex-husband, suffered as a result of his proximity to her medicine. Garden City police claimed "the items taken from the residence"—including "approximately 1¼ pounds of suspected marijuana," along with "a lab for manufacturing cannabis oil on the kitchen table and kitchen counters"—were "within easy reach of the child." But Banda argues that marijuana made her a better parent by relieving her symptoms. "I spent years raising my children from a couch, not being able to move much," she told the Post. "I wasn't able to be a proper mother when I was sick. And now I'm a fantastic mother."

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  1. They have woodchippers in Kansas, don’t they?

    1. The first rule of censor club is [deleted]!!

    2. I am strongly displeased with what is happening to Shona Banda. Very much so!

      (this is what The New Free Speech looks like)

      Also: in my haste to show support at the Popehat post yesterday, I named only Agammamon out of the Reason Five. All five of you have my full support, for what that’s worth.

      1. Six. Six of you were named. I’ll just edit my last post to reflect that.

        1. You have an edit button?

          Or… alternatively, you could leave them wondering which one of them does not have your support…

        2. Wait, was it six? How many regulars, because a lot of the imagery came from irregulars.

          Also, I hope you took the deep-dish dig lightheartedly.

          1. Sloopy, since you’re someone who puts MAYO on your pizza, you should just save us all the effort and strangle yourself with your huge buckled belt, leaving an inverse imprint of the outline of Texas on your throat.

            1. A subpoena is being printed….

            2. I’ve never put mayonnaise on pizza.

              I demand an immediate retraction or in gonna find a federal prosecutor and go after you for slander. Or libel. Or both!

              1. You live in Texas. That means ranch sauce. And ranch sauce is made from… MAYO.

                Truth is an absolute defense in libel. Now, go get that belt out. So that your widow and children are provided for, make it look like an accident that occurred during a session of autoerotic asphyxiation.

                1. What disgusting ranch are you eating?

          2. I never take pizza lightheartedly. PISTOLS AT DAWN!

            1. (slaps Sloopy with white velvet glove)

              1. Thank you!

                (Slaps Comrade with 2×4).

                DEEP DISH IS NOT PIZZA!

        3. Six. Six of you were named. I’ll just edit my last post to reflect that.

          Who will be next I wonder… Has this experience made any new anarchists ya think? I certainly view the US federales as being a whole lot more punitive and evil than I had previously given them credit.

      2. I am strongly displeased with what is happening to Shona Banda. Very much so!

        Peter Gregory?

    3. Gordilocks|6.9.15 @ 7:43AM| block | mute | #

      They have woodchippers in Kansas, don’t they?

      Do they even have trees?

      1. They have a county attorney ….

      2. This was designed and built for Kansans. Probably by a Canadian though.

    4. They have woodchippers in Kansas, don’t they?

      Let’s just say that if this cunt or any of the state’s thugs were to *hypothetically* get drunk and fall into a woodchipper *through their own negligence*, I would not shed a single tear for them.

      1. Be careful, comrade. That’s a good way to be made an example of.

  2. …or that her son, who is now living with her ex-husband, suffered as a result of his proximity to her medicine.

    A lifetime of PSA’s tells me that can’t possibly be true.

  3. I’m sure that prison food will clear that Crohn’s right up

  4. This is the real War on The Family.

    1. That family had already broken up before the government came round to stomp on the pieces.

      1. UnCivil Pedant.

  5. Sorry lady, but all of these crimes of hypothetical acts are the cost of civilization.

  6. Capricious and vindictive.

    That’s not too judgmental is it? You never know anymore.

    1. It’s safer than “May they be eaten slowly by Cthulhu” in my (lay person’s) opinion.

      1. You just made the list, pal.

      2. I believe we’re not far from Cthulhu being considered a credible threat. So long as it’s directed toward people with costumes and paychecks financed by extortion.

  7. within 1,000 feet of school property

    This is yet another arbitrary “gotcha” imposed by TPTB. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was used to bust people miles from a school but with a kid who brings home a book that is “school property”.

    I know — FYTW.

  8. This lady needs to learn that federal judges and prosecutors are the cream of the crop and they would always treat you fairly. I’m sure if she is innocent, all will be fine.

    1. There are two adages from my legal training I still recall:

      “Innocence proves nothing”

      “There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt”

      Wait, that might not have been legal training but a Warhammer binge.

      1. WAAAGH!

        –Blackstone’s formulation

      2. “Innocence proves nothing”


        *** gets coffee to enhance admiration ***

      3. “Innocence proves nothing”

        I’m not even sure what that is supposed to mean. Innocence doesn’t drive a car or write novels either.

  9. OT for no particular reason……..6258129977

    Two British tourists detained over joke on Twitter

    Another Tweet quoting the TV show Family Guy was quizzed, it read: “3 weeks today, we’re totally in LA p****d people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin’ Marilyn Monroe up!”

    Mr Bryan said his suitcase was searched for spades and shovels while a full body search was conducted on Ms Bunting.

    “It’s just so ridiculous it’s almost funny but at the time it was really scary,” Mr Bryan said. “The Homeland Security agents were treating me like some kind of terrorist.”

    1. Insanity

    2. Mr. Van Bryan deserved to be sent to Guantanamo just for that haircut and outfit combination.

      1. Why bother with the bottom button? Maybe he’s retarded.

        Also, nice soft racism in the article…a Mexican drug dealer? First off, what his nationality is doesn’t matter. Secondly, was he tried and convicted by the TSA, because they’re usually considered “alleged” until their guilt had been proven determined by the courts.

    3. The chick isn’t bad looking. I suspect they weren’t looking for digging implements as they scoured her bowels and lady bits for “contraband”.

      I also suspect Mr Bryan sees it as “almost funny” because he wasn’t the one sexually assaulted by agents of te state.

      1. sloopy,

        After seeing what Ms. Bunting looks like I wasn’t at all surprised that she was forced to endure unwanted contact by government agents.

        The fairly recent exposure (apologies) of TSA agents purposefully fondling passengers they found attractive, I believe, was not a singular event.

    4. “‘I kept saying to them they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet but they just told me “you’ve really f****d up with that tweet boy.”

      There it is. 8-(

      How long until “you’ve really f****d up by not tweeting”?

      1. “you’ve really f****d up with that tweet boy.”

        Is this a game of ‘find the missing comma’?

        “”you’ve really f****d up with that tweet, boy.””

        “”you’ve really f****d up with that, tweet boy.””

        Two very different sentences.

    5. Maybe I’m a little slow this morning. But “p****d” is what?

      1. Pissed was my guess.

    6. Don’t use social media. Don’t post anything to Twitter and Facebook.
      Don’t use social media. Don’t post anything to Twitter and Facebook.
      Don’t use social media. Don’t post anything to Twitter and Facebook.
      Don’t use social media. Don’t post anything to Twitter and Facebook.
      Don’t use social media. Don’t post anything to Twitter and Facebook.
      Don’t use social media. Don’t post anything to Twitter and Facebook.
      Don’t use social media. Don’t post anything to Twitter and Facebook.
      Don’t use social media. Don’t post anything to Twitter and Facebook.
      Don’t use social media. Don’t post anything to Twitter and Facebook.

  10. WP covers the subpoena and there’s are comments by DavidM in Cal on how prosecutors like Susan Richmeier here are paving the road the hell thinking she’s doing righteous work:…..ommenters/

    1. DavidM in Cal:

      I was defending a civil harassment case, while my client was on trial for “making terrorist threats.” The police report was, well, sloppy and incomplete. So I contacted the pro per plaintiff, who happened to be the victim, and told him I was double checking the facts and trying to get a timeline. The next day I got a call from an extremely angry prosecutor asking why he should charge me with witness intimidation. That’s literally how the conversation began, before he’d even given his name, “Why shouldn’t I charge you right now?”

      In a 1940 speech then Attorney General Robert H. Jackson (later Supreme Court Justice) warned that prosecutors have “more control over life, liberty and reputation than any other person in America.” Charging power is an “immense power to strike at citizens, not with mere individual strength, but with all the force of government itself,” he said.

      I’ve never met a prosecutor that wasn’t filled with his (or her) self-importance, acting as if this next investigation or prosecution wasn’t the key to peace on earth, goodwill toward men, a chicken in every pot, equal rights for all, and an end to global warming. Justice Jackson’s warning should be posted at every U.S. Attorney’s office, right next to the pictures of the President and AG.

  11. I usually dislike our government. I’ve come to hate it in the last several hours more than ever before.

    1. Governments may change, but the people who run them stay the same.

      1. I would have said it the other way around. But I suppose it works in some sense both ways.

        “Governments are fucked” is how I would put it. At best they are a necessary evil. Though I’m inclined to think that they are more just an inevitable evil.

        1. Necessary evil? There’s nothing necessary about evil. And if humanity is doomed to live under statism as we know it, for all time, then humanity is finished.

    2. *nods aggressively*

      1. Can you email me if you’re so inclined. I was gonna try to put a meetup for some Texans together.

        1. Do you have a newsletter I could subscribe to?

          I’m newish here, but if there’s a local-type meetup (I’m in the Houston area), I’d certainly try to make it.

  12. The jury (and the judge) should take Banda’s Crohn’s disease into consideration.

    According to the National Insitute of Health (aka The Government) :


    Although the primary end point of the study (induction of remission) was not achieved, a short course (8 weeks) of THC-rich cannabis produced significant clinical, steroid-free benefits to 10 of 11 patients with active Crohn’s disease, compared with placebo, without side effects. Further studies, with larger patient groups and a nonsmoking mode of intake, are warranted., NCT01040910.”

    —-National Institute of Health, 2013

    That cannabis was effective in 91% of patients is remarkable–but it’s the steroid free part that really stands out. Steroids are the last line of defense in Crohn’s disease–and you can’t stay on steroids indefinitely. Only for a few months at a time–max. And Crohn’s disease isn’t like Ulcerative Colitis–they can’t take your entire small intestines out.

    If they’re throwing this woman in prison because she was treating her disease with the most effective, side effects free treatment available, according to the National Institute of Health, then they are truly doing her a great injustice.

    If they send her to prison, they should also be forced to supply her with cannabis oil.

  13. Even if she was using recreationally, she’d STILL be harming nobody, unlike her persecutor, er, prosecutor.

  14. Goddamn these people are the worst. Taking the child away and putting the mother in prison. Good grief.

    Metaphorically speaking, I hope there is a special place in hell reserved for that horrible public official , the prosecutor, on whom I am entitled to comment, purely as hyperbole, on a matter of public concern under my First Amendment rights to free speech and to petition the Government for redress of grievances. Cf: The Screwtape Letters, an allegorical series of essays in which C. S. Lewis used Hell as a literary device for comment upon matters of spiritual and political concern.

  15. Exhibit A as proof of how fcuked up this country has become. Was there any proof that she was selling ? The article said that it was her medicine to treat Crohns, I have a close friend who uses Cannabis to treat his Crohns,lucky for him he lives in a more progressive state where it is not against the law to use a god given herb to heal.

  16. Just reading through some of these comments and the level of vitriol and hate and ignorance is shocking.

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