Something terrible and heartless is happening east of our pot-friendly state.
Shona Banda is a marijuana activist who attributes her recovery from Crohn’s disease to her use of cannabis. Banda used a vaporizer to collect cannabis resin, with which she would create cannabis oil capsules for her personal use.
In April, Banda’s home was raided after her son spoke out against his drug prevention program at school. Her son was taken into protective custody and her medicine was confiscated because of her use of the drug within her private residence.
After a two month battle through the gauntlet of the legal system, Banda turned herself in Monday for arrest on charges of possession, cultivation and distribution of cannabis, as well as child endangerment and possession of paraphernalia, according to the Garden City Telegram.
Now she faces the highest punishments in her state because of its archaic laws about “the reefer.”
Banda will be made an example of, have no doubt about that. In a state where the culture is so adverse to even the mention of drugs that a boy who spoke out against his drug prevention class can be taken away from his mother, no Kansas politician would dare pass up the chance to send out a message to all the dope fiends and pot heads that so plague their state that they are hard on crime.
In fact, in an interview with Truth in Media, Banda said, “I do believe that they’re trying to make an example out of me.”
If she had lived an hour to the west, Banda would be able to live her life without harassment and without the threat of imprisonment.
But she does not. She lives in Garden City, Kansas.
Banda is a mother whose only crime was trying to make her life better, and her only out was through illegal means. Instead of being taken into protective custody by the state, like her son, Banda is instead trapped by the ideologies of a very anti-progressive and a very disturbing society.
I highly doubt Dorothy would have been chanting “There’s no place like home” if she had been yearning for present-day Kansas.
Kansas is a state that has no qualms about destroying a life, and those around it, so that it might be able to say, “Look! We got another pothead!” and pat themselves on the back while the victim of a victimless crime rots out of the public view.
In Kansas, there is nothing wrong with the destruction of Shona Banda’s family.
We must lend our aid to the state, as people and as activists, for no other reason than to possibly drill some sense of reason into its aggressive and thoughtless actions against this family.
Shona Banda’s gofundme page has accrued $25,000 more than the original $15,000 that was asked for, but donations are not enough. If you have family in Kansas who believe in Banda’s cause, urge them to contact their senator or representative.
There is nothing wrong with treating a disease with medicine that works, and it is past time that Kansas realizes this.
Our neighbor cannot go on crushing its people for using cannabis to cope with their illnesses.
Collegian Reporter Erik Petrovich can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @EAPetrovich.