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Women's History Month: Kansas NORML acknowledges Shona Banda.

Image from Shonda Banda's GoFundMe campaign.
Image from Shonda Banda's GoFundMe campaign.

Shonda was a Garden City, Kansas resident, and is a sufferer of Crohn's disease.

In 2015 she was arrested in Kansas for:

  • endangering a child (at the time her son was 11 and living at home, where she medicated.)

  • distribution or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of school property,

  • unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance, and

  • possession of drug paraphernalia in relation to her use of marijuana products

She faced up to 30 years in prison.

Bleeding Kansas Advocates quickly picked up her story and rallied behind her for the duration of her trial. Below is the passionate statement BKA wrote about the case and their support of Shona:


Shona Banda: Why does Bleeding Kansas support her?

Let's address some of the top negative comments I have heard about our support of Shona Banda.

"We know she smoked it at one time and now it's all about the oil." Please see the study below and also read Shona's book: Live Free or Die. When she began her journey she tried many delivery systems, and experimented, until she found the process of oil manufacturing that worked for her. Hence, her many YouTube videos on her process. The study shows, regardless of the delivery system, cannabis has proven effective in the treatment of Crohn's. So, I ask, why is the delivery system the focus rather than the research, or the violation of her most basic human rights? Whether smoked or in oil, it helps her disease symptoms. So, why is it any of our government's business? "She lived close to a school. She knew that was a problem." She lived close to the school for her son. Just like many of us. Again, to justify what is blatantly an unjust violation of our basic human rights because we should just know we live in a jackboot state is tantamount to the worst of victim-blaming. Should I not just live in some area because it is known they don't like Jews? And if something anti-semitic should occur, I just have it coming because I should have known better? What if I have to live there because I need the support of my family in that area, or have family members in that area that need my care? Why must we look for some reason to take the blame off of the unjust rule and look to blame the victim? The unjust law is what is wrong here. What are we afraid of that keeps us from confronting this fact? Do we just feel too powerless, too out of control of our own democracy? Does seeing this case bring too close the knowledge that at any moment, any one of us could be victimized by the Kansas system due to our political beliefs, our religion (or lack thereof), or our sexuality? We have seen it happen this year, time and again.

Just recently Merrick removed committee members that he felt would not vote as the Kansas puppet masters wished them to vote. Who cares if they were voting the will of the people of Kansas, right? We saw Brownback take away the protection for state LGBT workers. We saw Mary Pillcher-Cook seek to charge teachers with felonies for teaching "objectionable material." Objectionable to whom? Who gets to make that call? Shouldn't it be the parents and the school board? In this, I agree with Roosevelt, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Fear breeds apathy and hopelessness. We cannot give in to fear. When we do tyrants win, injustice rules, and our rights will evaporate before us, as they have steadily been doing so in Kansas. Shona matters because Shona is every Kansas patient. It is our most basic freedoms at stake. Our unalienable rights are outlined in our Declaration of Independence: Our right to LIFE, LIBERTY, and HAPPINESS, which in this case is our best quality of life. The government should not have a say over our bodies and our health care.

Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now." -Thomas Jefferson- Notes on Virginia, Query XVII (1781-1785) Our founding fathers and mothers would be appalled tha