Free Minds & Free Markets

Watch Missouri Police Search a Cancer Patient's Hospital Room for Marijuana

Spoiler alert: They didn't find any.

In a Facebook Live video that's gone viral, Missouri police can be seen searching a stage four pancreatic cancer patient's hospital room for marijuana, which they do not find.

Nolan Sousley, who was diagnosed with cancer last May, admits in the video that he previously consumed Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) oil pills in the parking lot of Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar, Missouri. Certain THC and cannabidiol extracts are legal in the state, and Missouri voters opted to legalize medical marijuana last November. However, possession of medical marijuana is still illegal, as the state won't even start taking dispensary applications until August.

"Medically in Missouri it's really legal now. They just haven't finished the paperwork," Sousley says in the video. "But I don't have time to wait for that."

Sousley tells WDAF the story started Wednesday night when a hospital security guard claimed to have smelled marijuana coming from Sousley's room. "I hadn't slept for days," Sousley says to the Bolivar Herald-Free Press, explaining that he was "highly medicated" as well. Though Sousley insisted he hadn't smoked any weed, police were called anyway. "There is no way they could smell it, because I don't smoke it," he says in the video as officers with the Bolivar Police Department search the room. "I don't ever use a ground-up plant. It's an oil that I use in a capsule."

Sousley said in a statement that he and his fiancée, Amber Kidwell, consented to letting the officers go through Kidwell's bags, which they did, according to the Springfield News-Leader. "One of my bags was also searched even though I had told them they could not do so," the statement added. But Sousley drew the line at his medicine bag. "This is my bag of medication. I'm not letting them dig through it," he says in the video. "It has my final day things in there, and nobody's going to dig in it. It's my stuff":

After the video ended, Sousley did let one of the officers go through the bag. The officer did not find any marijuana. "Officers received consent for a search of the room, and nothing was found," Bolivar Police Chief Mark Webb tells the Herald-Free Press.

The hospital has apologized, and Sousley said in his statement he does not blame police for what happened.

One of the officers assured Sousley that had they found marijuana, they would have simply issued him a citation. What's troubling is that this incident supposedly warranted a police response in the first place. Even if Sousley had been smoking marijuana (which he probably wasn't), the easiest way to solve this would have been for the hospital to tell him to do it outside.

The possibility that a cancer patient is lighting up should not be a police issue. Missouri voters have already decided they're fine with medical marijuana. That should be enough.

Photo Credit: Facebook screenshot/Nolan's Tribe of Warriors Against Cancer

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Bolivar Police is overstaffed.

  • My Dog Bites Better Than Yours||

    As is Citizen's Memorial Hospital.

  • Brandybuck||

    To protect and serve.

  • Juice||

    Pro tip: never be in Missouri.

  • Shirley Knott||

    The name tells you everything you need to know — if it sounds like 'misery' that's because it is.

  • mpercy||

    Episode of Modern Family with this comment was on reruns last night.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Missouri loves company

  • Dillinger||


  • Libertymike||

    Our heroes at work.

  • Libertymike||

    All one needs to know about cops is revealed by the actions of the aspiring cop in the story.

  • ||

    Sousley said in his statement he does not blame police for what happened.

    They were only following orders...

    Fuck them and may they rot in hell.

  • Eric||

    The cops on scene were respectful and didn't appear to enjoy what they were doing at all. You're anger is directed at the wrong people.

  • ||

    You're anger is directed at the wrong people.

    Fortunately my supply of anger is for all intents and purposes infinite. And what they did was immoral, whether they enjoyed it or not.

  • Eric||

    To me, the real villains here are:

    1. The security guard who chose to call the police on someone who is dying and simply trying to relieve his pain via any means possible (while not hurting anyone).

    2. The political apparatus (politicians, voters, activists, lobbiests, etc) in MO that would continue to criminalize small amounts of MJ despite overwhelming evidence that it helps so many people.

  • Ray McKigney||

    1. The security guard who chose to call the police on someone who is dying and simply trying to relieve his pain via any means possible (while not hurting anyone).

    Seriously. I wouldn't even do that to my father-in-law.

  • Agammamon||

    Neither of those two groups would have any effect if it weren't for the third group - the people who will do anything for money.

  • ||

    Fortunately my supply of anger is for all intents and purposes infinite.

    An infinite supply of shit, sprayed in all direction, only serves to cover everyone in shit. Idiot.

  • Vulgar Madman||

    Al long as they're being respectful while being assholes.

  • Cyto||

    Yeah... I'm not buying the "just doing my job" bit. This ain't murdering babies, but it falls on the south side of good.

    My car was damaged in a hit and run and the cops not only didn't bother to send someone to get him while I had him in view, they didn't even bother to send someone to take a statement. They told me where I could pick up the forms to file a report.

    But some cancer patient has pot!?!! Now we have to jump into action! Let's conduct a thorough search!

  • Eric||

    Serious question as I am not a sworn officer or military. What would the consequences be for those police if they refused to follow the order?

  • Rossami||

    It depends on the supervisor's opinion of the issue. And his/her opinion of the officers in question.

    If the supervisor agrees that it's a dumb law and that the officer was exercising appropriate discretion in ignoring the order, then nothing happens. On the other hand, if the supervisor thinks the law should be strictly followed OR is just looking for a reason to put the screws to the junior officer, refusing to follow an order is insubordination.

    In the military, insubordination could earn you jail time. In the police, the maximum penalty is probably just losing your job. Well, not just your job - it could cost you your entire career, make all your education to date worthless, etc. But absent a declaration of martial law, I don't think non-violent insubordination could earn a police officer jail time.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Probably depends on their boss. But thay could have easily have just said my cop senses did not detect the smell of marijuana and therefore no search was warranted.

  • Robert||

    It's all about whatever's easiest. A hit & run? A moving target? You kidding me? Take a statement? Meaning answering an app't at someone's location, on someone's schedule? Get outta here.

    But someone in a hospital room who isn't even hiding, & is available any time? Easy.

  • Obama ate a dog||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • IJustWorkHere||

    Pretty much every employer trains people to prioritize ethical standards above direction of a superior. Either these cops believe what they were doing was ethical, or they didn't care that it was unethical, or cops aren't trained in ethics, or they are, but their ethics prioritize their own authority over the comfort of a non-violent, harmless, dying, cancer patient.

    I bet their mothers are really proud of them.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Cops have mothers? Pretty sure they get them from puppy mills.

  • Agammamon||

    No its not. There are certainly other people that deserve anger directed towards them but these cops are choosing to enforce an immoral law. They are complicit.

  • ||

    Dude, listen carefully to the main cop. When the DYING patient mentioned marijuana use the cope replied along the lines of 'that's gonna cure you?'

    Something tells me they had no shame in what they were doing. They got a call. Had to check it. Send three cops and then tell a cancer patient he was "only" going to get a citation.

    Gee, thanks officers. I'm sure that's comforting to a person who will not live much longer.

    This is where you see how depraved drug laws are. We didn't see it in the past because there was no internet but now we see how it looks.


  • Aloysious||

    ...when a hospital security guard claimed to have smelled marijuana...

    Someone wants to be a cop really bad.

  • Ragnarredbeard||

    Oh come on. Think of the cops. How else are they gonna refill their stashes if they don't confiscate the stuff?

  • DajjaI||

    Smoked pot is a very distinctive smell. If he did it, they would have been able to smell it, for at least an hour. Never smoke or vape in a hospital or hotel room. The next guest will thank you.

  • JFree||

    This turned out to be the biggest problem here with legalization in CO. Pot tourists had zero interest in even being 'inconvenienced' re where they smoked. And CO has a large existing skiing industry (and a ton of residents moved here specifically so they could ski and do mountain stuff) - which means there is a ton of lodging at serious altitude anyway with guests who mostly REALLY don't want to breathe smoke (and tobacco smokers don't tend to ski). Led to more than a few conflicts and cops being called.

  • IceTrey||

    Cannabis smoke is nothing like tobacco smoke.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Rousting a stage four cancer patient for ostensible doobie whiffs?

    That security guard sounds like a winner.

    The police officer(s), too.

    I expect to see the day when every drug warrior in America is compelled to try to find a decent livelihood. I wouldn't hire any one of them, but others are free to choose a different path.

    I also expect to observe the day when every supporter of drug warriors learns that his prudish, authoritarian preferences have been crushed by American progress.

  • Cyto||

    My first reaction is a profanity laden tirade. Stage 4 pancreatic cancer..... that's a death sentence.... a very painful death sentence. I don't care if she's got a hooka pipe hooked up, leave her the hell alone.. If by some miracle she happens to be one of the lucky few who survive that kind of cancer, then you can stop by and give her a pamphlet about the dangers of drugs and addiction.

    My second reaction is to try to find that Jim Valvano speech.... "this screen up here flashing 30 seconds... some guy in the back, going 30 seconds... I got tumors all over my body... you think I'm worried about this little screen?" Ah... here it is. Around 7:30 is where he goes off on the time limit.

  • Libertymike||

    One of the single most moving speeches I have ever heard. Lachrymose city, baby.

  • ||

    The last thing a cancer patient needs is stress.

    And these "heroes" gave it in spades.

    Good work fellas.

  • Agammamon||

    What are you complaining about - our betters issued those laws for our benefit, remember.

  • Crusty Juggler - Lawbertarian||

    The law is the law...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Controlled Substances Act is unconstitutional.

    Even Prohibitionists knew that they needed a Constitutional Amendment to ban alcohol.

    Drug bans have no such amendment.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    I guess Sousley is lucky the cops did not have a no-knock warrant, and execute it at 2am.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>had they found marijuana, they would have simply issued him a citation

    toss a room for a citation?

  • D-Pizzle||

    Yeah, I thought that too. These cops are so full of shit.

  • majil||

    Cheer when cops are shot in the fucking faces

  • majil||

    All cops deserve to be shot in their fucking faces

  • Jury Nullification||

    A shot in the face makes a small hole but a shot in the back of the head. Well, that's why I say hey man nice shot.

  • Jack Klompus Magic Ink||

    So what's stopping you, keyboard revolutionary?

  • Jury Nullification||

    "Sousley said in a statement that he and his fiancée, Amber Kidwell, consented to letting the officers go through Kidwell's bags, which they did,..." and "Sousley did let one of the officers go through the bag."

    WTF is he bitching about?!
    "It has my final day things in there, and nobody's going to dig in it until I fold like a cheap suit." FTFH

    No balls even at death's door. Obviously not testicular cancer. R.I.P.P. (Rest In Peace Panzy)
    No hospital bed to be named after him...maybe a bed pan.

    "One of the officers assured Sousley that had they found marijuana, they would have simply issued him a citation." Revenuers gotta revenue.

  • Tony||

    I think what he really thought he smelled was a donut.

  • Jack Klompus Magic Ink||

    You even suck when you try to be funny.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    One of the officers assured Sousley that had they found marijuana, they would have beaten the hell out of him since he wasn't going to be around much longer and wouldn't be able to testify against them. simply issued him a citation.

  • ||

    Not a good look.

    At all.

    And three cops to do that?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Three cops to search the belongings of a man with nothing to lose? Look like heroes to me...

  • awildseaking||

    Look out, that man as a plant!

  • Delroy||

    Too local

  • IceTrey||

    That's one fine department since they've obviously caught all the murderers and rapists to have time for this.

  • Echospinner||

    How did this happen.

    This is a small 72 bed community hospital.

    If you listen closely the hospital was invaded by the police force because someone called 911.

    Then the only doc there to respond, hospitalist or whomever needs to deal with this. Not a good shift for her.

    She likely had no backup from admin or legal at that point. In the record did the best she could to defuse and get this cluster f* out of the patient care area.

    Good job doc.

  • RC Brown||

    Stage III Colon Cancer, currently on chemo. My oncologist offered me a medical marijuana prescription. Medical is legalized and recreational was decriminalized in my state (CT). I declined the prescription because if you ever fill the prescription, CT state police show up at your house, confiscate all your guns, ammo, gun cleaning supplies, and destroy your permit. You can reapply for a new permit 5 years after you stop taking the prescription but your property will have been destroyed as soon as they seized it.

  • Madashell||

    They would show up to my house, and I would hand them a receipt (hand written on the back of a Dunkin Donuts napkin for full effect) showing that I SOLD all of my guns, ammo, supplies, etc. to my brother for the tidy sum of $1.00. The weapons are no longer legally mine. Sorry Officer.

  • Madashell||

    This event (and the relative lack of indignation from the populace) seems a sort of microcosm of the US drug war. It seeks to make criminals out of thin air. I'd like to pose the question to the Police Chief - "what would have happened if the officer DID find cannabis in the room? Would the officer have handcuffed a hospitalized cancer patient and booked him into jail for possession? How would THAT have been rationalized? This sort of thing needs to end. Even if the man weren't in the hospital with cancer - even if he were at home. People should be allowed to make this choice. These insane cannabis prohibition laws are straight out of the 1950's and the drug war is nothing more than a black hole for money. The drug war has CREATED and sustained the narco-violence so prevalent in places like Mexico. The Republicans want a wall so bad - but if they embraced the idea of legalization the need for the wall evaporates with many of the cartels, the tax revenue from legalized sales would MORE than pay for ridiculous things like walls. Deaths from opiods would decline because people would know what is in their heroin - we could fund safe injection sites and fund stronger prevention and treatment strategies. The world would be a safer and better place without the "war on drugs". But who am I?


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