Last week, BenSwann.com obtained an exclusive interview with Shona Banda, a cannabis oil activist and Crohn’s disease survivor whose 11-year-old son was taken by Kansas’ Department for Children and Families and whose home was searched by police after her son asserted medical cannabis facts during an anti-drug class at school. During the interview, Banda mentioned the fact that she had filmed the encounter with police and DCF at her home, which she characterized as a raid, and that video of the incident would be made available after she had an opportunity to post it online.
The video, now online and seen above, appears to show the fact that, upon her arrival at her Garden City, KS home, local police and DCF agents were already on her property. At the time that the video was taken, police on the scene had yet to obtain a warrant and were waiting for a judge to sign off on one. Despite the fact that a search warrant had not yet been issued, officers were seen searching her backyard. Banda refused to allow the officers into her home without a warrant, and, subsequently, police refused to allow her to enter her own home, claiming that it had been secured in preparation for the impending search.
At one point, an officer denied Banda entry into the home to retrieve diabetes medication for a child in her care, telling her that police would contact EMS if the child slipped into a diabetic attack as a result of the refusal to allow her inside. The officer appeared to attempt to use the diabetic attack as leverage to coerce Banda into waiving her right to refuse a search by suggesting that he could enter the home to get the medication, but informing her that she could not. DCF bureaucrats said that Banda could not be allowed into the home until officers determined whether it was safe for children. Banda was told by police many times that she was free to leave her own home, but could not enter.
Following Banda’s interview on BenSwann.com and a report by The Human Solution International, her story was picked up by Radley Balko at The Washington Post and subsequently went viral. Banda’s supporters have started a GoFundMe fundraising campaign, which has already raised over $25,000, to help with her legal expenses.
The Garden City Telegram notes that Banda is set to appear in court today at a hearing at Finney County District Court, where she will fight for custody of her 11-year-old son. According to The Daily Mail, Banda’s son, who had been originally placed in his father’s custody temporarily, was seized from his father on Thursday in advance of today’s hearing.
In September of last year, Ben Swann released a Truth in Media episode reporting on the federal government’s mixed messages on medical marijuana. Watch it in the player below.