Shona Banda. Image from YouTube.

by Paul Fassa
Health Impact News

Two years ago, a woman with two children was celebrating her renewed life after cannabis oil had taken her out of her deathbed from terminal Crohn’s disease. She had undergone 16 surgeries and several toxic pharmaceuticals, one dangerously experimental. The doctors had finally given up.

Shona Banda’s health had worsened until she was bedridden and “waiting to die,” until she started using cannabis oil. The results were miraculous. Shona Banda became a medical cannabis advocate in her home town of Garden City, an hour from the Colorado border, in a dangerous state, Kansas, for that type of activity.

Shona’s Arrest Became an International Cause for Cannabis and Health Freedom Advocates

After surviving a terminal illness by using cannabis, she was arrested in 2015 and faced a potential sentencing of 30 years in prison. Her son was taken into custody by CPS. Her trial dragged on for two years before she survived the legal system by accepting a second plea deal arrangement earlier this month, August, 2017, despite her initial feeling that she could win the case.

But that would have involved staying in Kansas for another few years struggling with higher court appeals without her only real medicine, cannabis oil, the only medicine that saved her life and made her healthy enough to be a working mom again and give educational talks on cannabis as a medicine.

This second plea bargain was arranged by her second defense attorney. It helped that Dr. Robert Melamede explained the endocannabinoid system to the court and the hows and whys cannabis is so effective with so many diseases without debilitating side effects. He also told the court that Shona’s son was not endangered by her using cannabis medicinally.

This plea bargain agreement, approved by the court and accepted by Shona, allows her to do a monthly write-in report to a probation officer in Kansas while allowing her to live outside the state of Kansas. She has chosen to live in Spokane, Washington, which allows both medical and recreational use of cannabis or marijuana.

Son Kidnapped by Kansas for Speaking Out on Medical Cannabis that Saved His Mother’s Life

Shona was arrested in 2015 when her 11 year old son differed with an official presenting a talk in his elementary school regarding the dangers of marijuana. He argued openly about how his mother, Shona Banda, was alive due to her using cannabis oil for her terminal Crohn’s disease. See:

Mother Files Federal Lawsuit Against State of Kansas for Kidnapping Her Son

Evidently he was aware of and impressed by his mother’s activism. She has written and published the book Live Free or Die and distributed it to legislators nationwide promoting medical cannabis in addition to giving talks at small gatherings.

Her health improvement from near death to becoming an involved mother who was working again had made it clear to him that cannabis was an effective and safe medicine. But his open argument with a school system official was the beginning of the end of his relationship with Shona as his mom, at least temporarily. He was taken by CPS and placed in his father’s home, also in Garden City, but from whom Shona had separated.

Upon Shona’s arrest, indictment with five felony charges, eventually changed to three, $50,000 bail bond, and trial date arrangement, she remarked:

“I’m very afraid. I cannot believe that I could be facing 30 years in prison for trying to save my life.”

She was also very concerned about her relationship with her 11 year old son who was taken from her.

She had spent enough time in nearby Colorado to regain and improve her health using cannabis and worked in a cannabis dispensary for a short time. But it’s pricey there and she was compelled to move back to Garden City where she grew up and had worked before. (Source)

Because of her open activism for medical marijuana and her publicly declared and confirmed miraculous return to health using cannabis oil, she benefited well with online fund raising for legal defense costs, around $40,000 at one time during the proceedings to a final hearing, a jury hearing that never happened.

Along the way to the final plea bargain agreement, Shona landed in the hospital once because she couldn’t use cannabis anymore and managed to obtain a divorce with 50/50 custody of the younger child. Their older son is no longer a minor.

There may have been sufficient funds to continue on, but that would have left Shona without her only real medicine for too many years while enduring the stress of legal battles. Some criticized her for not continuing on with the international notoriety of her case, but in addition to her health issues, she wanted her son back again.

In the video interview below by Ron Paul, who at one time during her trial advocated jury nullification, Shona details some of the particulars of her case at the time of her interview, her 16 surgeries and the toxic prescriptions that made her worse. But she asserted her lowest time emotionally was when they took her son away.

The War on Drugs Has Created Too Much Collateral Damage

There was a spontaneous informal non-mainstream media discussion panel the day after Shona and the court finalized the plea bargain deal earlier this month (August, 2017.) A retired LAPD officer, Steve Miller was on that panel. He is part of a group called LEAP (Law Enforcement Action Partnership) comprised of former and current law enforcement officials who want reform in the legal system. He explained first that we don’t have a justice system but a legal system.

As an LAPD official, he was once in charge of implementing task force operations to enforce Nixon’s “War on Drugs.” He eventually realized that our policy on drugs was putting people in jail that shouldn’t be there. He explained:

“Our [USA] population is five percent of the world’s population, yet we have 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.”

He pointed out that Nixon’s drug war had ulterior motives, to attack anti-war protesters and poor people of color.

This was confirmed in a 1994 interview of Nixon’s former top domestic policy adviser, John Ehrlichman, included in a 2016 issue of Harper’s Magazine who claimed:

The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying?

We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news.

Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did. (Source)

How Shona Banda Discovered Cannabis to Reverse Her Decline Into Death

Mainstream medicine has no cure for Crohn’s disease, an IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) that inflames tissue anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract and deeper than IBS. All the medical attempts, including surgeries and pharmaceuticals created a worsening condition leaving her mostly bedridden and needing a cane to walk.

She was using an old fashioned vaporizer to “vape” the small amounts of marijuana she could obtain illegally in Garden City, KS, but that practice only gave her minor pain relief and was inadequate for reversing her Crohn’s disease.

After seeing a YouTube video of Rick Simpson demonstrating how to make cannabis oil, she was both enthused and disappointed. She knew the oil would work for her, but getting the large amounts of cannabis buds to produce a small amount of the oil was not remotely feasible in Kansas.

Soon she discovered small amounts of oil residues in the glass globe of her old fashioned vaporizer and started gathering them and placing the residues into capsules and taking them. That was the beginning of her healing process that enabled her to ditch all the pharmaceutical drugs she was taking.

Shona’s brief Colorado medical refugee period was curtailed by circumstances involving finances and an undisclosed family situation back home in Garden City, but she did work briefly in a cannabis dispensary.

Cannabis Medical Refugees Fleeing to Colorado

Another medical refugee managed to stay in Colorado because his parents took him there and relocated. As a young teenager, Coltyn Turner nearly drowned swimming in a lake at a Boy Scout camp.

The bacteria and parasite infested water he had swallowed triggered his evidently latent Crohn’s disease, putting him into a hospital and at the mercy of medical pharmaceuticals that made his condition worse.

His parents didn’t take Coltyn to Colorado for CBD only. Even as a teenager while in Colorado, Coltyn was using the full blend of cannabinoids in edibles then eventually in cannabis oil capsules, providing another miraculous recovery.

In addition to Colorado and other states, Israel has been using cannabis for IBS and Crohn’s disease successfully over the past few years. It not only works fast to create full remissions, it is much safer than pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for Crohn’s or IBS and a patient can avoid surgeries that actually remove parts of the GI tract. (Source)

Dr. Bob Melamede, Ph.D., is also a medical cannabis crusader. He has formed the Cannabis Awakening Foundation, and during Shona’s hearings he posted her story and urged others to come to her support financially and otherwise.

But that ordeal is now over. Shona has relocated to a state where she can use cannabis oil for her Crohn’s disease without fearing “legal” interventions.