Truth In Media Accelerates National Cannabis Discussion

In March 2014, was alerted to the story of Shona Banda, a woman who was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2002. After seven years of suffering from the debilitating effects of the disease despite conventional treatment and medication, Banda took a bold step to manage her symptoms after watching an online documentary about cannabis oil being used to relieve a variety of ailments ranging from sleep disorders to cancer.

Banda went on to make her own oil at home, and told Ben Swann in an interview in May of 2014 about cannabis oil positively impacting her life. Banda told Swann, “I literally went from feeling the degradation of dying, the pain from dying, knowing that I wasn’t going to be here very long to literally waking up on day three knowing that I was going to live long enough to see my grandkids someday.”

Swann later released a Truth In Media episode last September about medical cannabis. This episode, made possible via donations made by Swann’s supporters through a crowdfunding effort, illustrated the government’s refusal to publicly accept cannabis as medicine while quietly holding two patents on cannabinoids and cannabis oil for the treatment of diseases including Alzheimer’s and indeed, auto-immune diseases like Crohn’s Disease.

Last month, Banda’s home was raided and her son was removed from her care because the boy had disputed common anti-marijuana talking points during school. Banda spoke exclusively to’s Barry Donegan last week about the ordeal. After the publication of Banda’s discussion with Donegan, the news began to spread nationwide.

Radley Balko, author of Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces and contributor at the Washington Post, wrote about the incident. Soon sites including Uproxx and Reason also covered it. On Monday, the hosts of ABC’s The View discussed the story; Rosie Perez pointed out the “hypocrisy” of the federal government’s classification of marijuana, which remains Schedule 1.

“Listen to this,” Perez said, referencing a key point made in Swann’s episode. “The US government has a patent, patent number 6630507, held by the Department of Health and Human Services, which covers the use of cannabinoids for treating a wide range of diseases.”

With great thanks to the fundraising power of individuals supporting Ben Swann’s Truth In Media Project, Swann’s episode is now sparking a large national discussion about the use of cannabis and the federal government’s deceptive behavior preventing access as well as government agencies punishing people like Shona Banda and her son for challenging government hypocrisy.