Mom Who Advocated Medical Cannabis Oil Faces 30 Years in Prison
A Kansas mother who used cannabis oil for medical purposes booked herself into jail yesterday, facing a lengthy prison term her lawyer equates to a death sentence.
On Monday, Shona Banda, 38, posted a $50,000 bond after turning herself in at the Finney County Law Enforcement Center on several charges stemming from her use of the plant-derived oil.
Banda has used cannabis oil for more than a decade to treat her Crohn's Disease, an illness characterized by inflammation of the digestive tract.
Police raided Banda's Garden City home in March after her son made pro-medical marijuana comments at school.
Banda, who has also authored a book entitled, "Live Free or Die: Reclaim your Life...Reclaim Your Country!" which outlines her struggle with Chron's and the miraculous recovery after she discovered cannabis oil, was arrested while her son was subsequently snatched by the state.
Banda's attorney Sarah Swain says they will first attempt to argue the raid on Banda's residence was conducted on an unconstitutional basis.
If the search warrant and questioning are ruled constitutionally valid, that's when we would get to the Schedule I argument, Swain said, according to KMUW.
At the federal level, the DEA has categorized marijuana as a Schedule I substance, on par with heroin, LSD and ecstasy.
Swain says Banda's incarceration would keep her from being able to access her much-needed medicine, effectively condemning her to death.
This is a woman who was using cannabis to treat a disease, Crohn's Disease, that was absolutely debilitating," Swain told The Wichita Eagle. "So, not only is it that she's facing life imprisonment just due to the years, but essentially it's a death sentence.
"If she is sent to prison and does not have access to the treatment that she was using that cured her of her Crohn's disease and allowed her to live a somewhat normal life, it's absolutely the equivalent of her being sentenced to death," Swain said.
Banda faces charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, manufacturing Tetrahydrocannabinol and child endangerment.
Use of cannabidiol oil, or CBD, has recently seen a surge in popularity as more people learn about its diverse medical applications, including its usefulness in treating pain, seizures and PTSD.
Despite some states legalizing marijuana for recreation, as well as 15 others legalizing cannabis oil for medical purposes, possession including for medicinal use is still illegal in Kansas and federally.
Currently a few pro-marijuana bills are making their way through the Kansas state legislature, including one seeking to allow cannabis oil as a treatment for seizures.
Watch: CNN's investigation into the health potential of CBD.