A personal letter from Shona Banda (Please help Shona Banda!)

 

 

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Shona Banda’s ~ Live Free or Die·

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

 

I want to personally thank you from the bottom of my heart for your contribution that has helped so far in this struggle. The GoFundMe money was raised for legal fees and expenses surrounding the case, the money has been allocated and the site taken down. A new funding site will be made as further legal contributions are needed, and will be handled as the case continues. Legal funds do not account for living expenses. I prefer to work for the money I earn and have been able to get my book “Live Free or Die” ready for a reprinting with a projected date of the first week of April or sooner to be available worldwide.

I believe in persistence, perseverance, and working hard to achieve goals.

Many of you have seen what has happened in my life over the course of the last year, when police surrounded my home after my son spoke out in class. You have followed me in the past year as I have attended many court dates, struggled with pain and anguish, and watched me face this court system with my head held high.

I have a certainty, a clarity in my fight against these unjust laws. I fight with no fear, I hold my head high, knowing I am in truth. Knowing that I have a basic right to life, a basic right to live! I have faced death head on, I have struggled and felt torturous pain inflicted upon me by the barbaric medical system our society clings to and calls normal. I know I can stand tall and proud in truth, knowing it was all foretold.

Knowing that my journal, of finding how beneficial this cannabis plant was, and being able to share my personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences had to be written and published in 2010. I explain, in detail, my sickness, my life, my family, and how I teach my children; all surrounding the cannabis plant and how this plant made me feel as my body regenerated and healed.

“Live Free or Die” is a book that has already helped so many worldwide take back their own lives, and folks have been inspired to share their own stories and testimonials to help spread this knowledge.

Purchasing a signed copy of Live Free or Die helps me and my family in this very hard time, immediately, right now. I wrote this book to help others. I wrote this book to empower anyone who picked it up. I wrote this book to show everyone that LIFE truly matters. History is being made. Now. Own a piece of it, personally signed.

Purchase your pre-ordered signed copy of “Live Free or Die” here paypal.me/ShonaBanda

Hardcover $45

Paperback $35

Donations of gratuity are also accepted.

Thank you all for your continued support in this fight.

Shona Banda ,,

You can contribute today at https://www.gofundme.com/shonabanda

www.shonabanda.org

Email: [email protected]

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FACEBOOK PAGE “LIVE FREE OR DIE”

 

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Marijuana Activist, Shona Banda, Who Lost Custody Of Son Says She’s Suing So It Doesn’t Happen To Others

Shona Banda, shown here after she was booked into jail and then released after posting bond in June, has sued state and Garden City officials, claiming she has a constitutional right to use cannabis to treat her Crohn’s disease. Credit James Dobson / Garden City Telegram

 

By Dan Margolies

The Garden City, Kansas, mother who lost custody of her 11-year-old son over her use of cannabis oil says she wants to hold state officials accountable “so this doesn’t happen to people any longer.”

Shona Banda, who sued state agencies and officials late last week, is representing herself in the action, which asks the court to restore custody of her son, declare that she has a “fundamental right” to use cannabis oil to treat her Crohn’s disease and award unspecified damages.

“We need to restore actual liberties in this country,” Banda said in a telephone interview with Heartland Health Monitor. “The powers that be have gained way too much control when they think that they can do these kinds of things even with your children.”

Banda posted a draft of her lawsuit online as long ago as September but later said its filing had been delayed by the inability of her attorneys, one in Lawrence, Kansas, and the other in California, to agree on a mutual schedule.

In the lawsuit filed last week, however, she is acting on her own behalf. Asked what had become of her attorneys, Banda said the California attorney had a medical emergency “and we were coming on the statute of limitations to file the case. So I had to do what I had to do in order to make this happen.”

The suit was filed a year to the day after Garden City police raided her home and seized marijuana, cannabis oil and drug-related equipment after her 11-year-old son spoke up about her use of cannabis at a school anti-drug presentation.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families subsequently took custody of her son, saying the home environment was not safe for him, and the Finney County district attorney filed drug-related criminal charges against her. The charges carry a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison.

Banda said she would represent herself in court until she could find “adequate representation.”

Her 20-page lawsuit, filed in federal court, names as defendants the state of Kansas; the Kansas Department for Children and Families; DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore; Gov. Sam Brownback; the Garden City Police Department and its police chief, James R. Hawkins; the Garden City School District; and Tyler Stubenhoffer, an employee of the school district.

The suit alleges that the defendants violated Banda’s constitutional rights under the 9th and 14th amendments and cites an “emerging awareness” of the medical benefits of marijuana and its increasing societal acceptance. However, legal experts say there’s little case law supporting a constitutional right to medical marijuana.

Under Kansas law, possession of any amount of marijuana is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. A second conviction is punishable by up to 3 ½ years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Theresa Freed, a spokeswoman for the Department for Children and Families, could not be reached for comment on Monday. But asked in September about Banda’s then-threatened lawsuit, she said that the department’s mission is to “protect children, promote healthy families and encourage personal responsibility.”

“Our social workers are trained to assess the safety of a home and make an appropriate recommendation to the court,” Freed said. “Marijuana is an illegal substance in the state of Kansas. It can have both direct and indirect detrimental consequences on families.”

Banda said her son is in the custody of his father and she has visitation rights. She said, however, that she and the father are getting divorced “and I’m fighting for sole custody of my son.”

Banda has another son, 19, who lives with her and whom she says “is working and trying to do what he can to be an adult.”

She acknowledged that the legal odyssey she’s endured over the last year has been “very difficult” but said her younger son was “doing OK.”

“But it’s been very difficult on our family as a whole, I will say that,” she said.

Banda has been a highly visible advocate of medical marijuana and self-published a book about her use of cannabis oil to treat her Crohn’s, an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause severe abdominal pain and other symptoms.

Her lawsuit says she has undergone 17 surgeries over eight years. It says that the cannabis oil she uses to treat her condition had “significantly relieved” debilitating symptoms that had prevented her from working and confined her to her home.

Dan Margolies, editor of the Heartland Health Monitor team, is based at KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.

CONTINUE READING….

 

ADDITIONALLY,

A personal letter from Shona Banda

Epileptic mom who used marijuana raising funds to fight charges

Hidden blood tests by hospitals put mothers at risk of arrest  Alabama hospitals have less-than-clear intentions as drug tests lead to arrests of pregnant moms

Will Bishop has suffered no health effects from his mother’s self medication of her epilepsy with marijuana while she carried him. (Grant Blankenship)

By Amy Yurkanin | [email protected]
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on November 30, 2015 at 4:37 PM

The family of a young Russell County woman facing up to ten years in prison after using marijuana to treat seizures while pregnant has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for her criminal defense.

Katie Darovitz shared her story with ProPublica and Al.com earlier this year. The 25-year-old suffers from epilepsy so severe that she can’t drive safely or hold a job. When she found out she was pregnant, she went off her anti-epilepsy drugs – which have been linked to birth defects – and began using marijuana to prevent seizures.

She was arrested a couple weeks after the December 2014 birth of her son because they both tested positive for marijuana. Alabama is one of a handful of states where mothers can be prosecuted for exposing an unborn child to illicit drugs under the state’s chemical endangerment of a child law.

In an analysis of almost 500 criminal cases, Al.com and ProPublica discovered that marijuana was the drug most commonly cited in indictments and arrest reports for women arrested for drug use during pregnancy. Darovitz faces several years in prison if convicted.

Advocates for the family have located two out-of-state attorneys to work on Darovitz’s criminal and child custody cases, but they need a local attorney to assist. The out-of-state attorneys are working for free, but the family must still raise money to pay for travel and other expenses.

The family is seeking up to $15,000 to pay for legal expenses and has started a GoFundMe campaign.

Darovitz’s mother-in-law, Debi Word, has reached out to local attorneys. At least one attorney did not want to take the case to trial and urged Darovitz to take a plea deal. But that deal would saddle Darovitz with substantial monthly court fees, Word said.

"This is such an injustice," Word said. "And I can’t imagine her going to prison for trying to protect her baby."

The case has already taken a toll of Darovitz’s health, Word said. Stress has caused her seizures to intensify, and marijuana is the only treatment that is keeping them under control, Word said. If Darovitz entered a drug treatment court, she wouldn’t be able to use marijuana to treat seizures because medical marijuana is not legal in Alabama.

Darovitz has struggled with anxiety and depression throughout her legal ordeal. Although she faces up to ten years if convicted, the family believes a jury will not convict if they hear Darovitz’s story. Expert witnesses who have researched the use of marijuana during pregnancy have also agreed to testify. Studies of children exposed to marijuana in utero have produced mixed results, with some showing no effects on development and others suggesting some increase in attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders.

"This has been very stressful and I hope it just goes away, because all I was doing was trying to protect my son and keep myself alive," Darovtiz said. "And I really hope I can see my son’s first birthday."

CONTINUE READING…

Consuming Marijuana During Pregnancy Does Not Make A Mother Unfit

Since 1985 cigarette packages sold in the United States have carried four rotating warnings from the surgeon general, including this one: “Smoking by Pregnant Women May Result in Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, and Low Birth Weight.” Since 1989 the labels of alcoholic beverages have included this government-mandated warning: “According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects.” This week the American Medical Association (AMA) proposed a similar label for cannabis products:  “Marijuana use during pregnancy and breastfeeding poses potential harms.”

The proposed warning represents a concession to political reality by the AMA, which opposes marijuana legalization but seems to recognize that pot prohibition is inexorably crumbling. The AMA’s wording is notably milder than the warnings for tobacco and alcohol—appropriately so, since the evidence that cannabis consumption during pregnancy can harm the fetus is less clear than the evidence that smoking and heavy drinking can. In any case, providing information about marijuana’s hazards is surely preferable to the punitive moralism of the war on drugs.

Hollie Sanford holding Nova (Image: WJW)

Hollie Sanford holding Nova (Image: WJW)

The latter approach still prevails in most of the country, as illustrated by what happened to Hollie Sanford and her baby girl, Nova. After Sanford gave birth at Cleveland’s Fairview Hospital on September 26, Nova was snatched away from her because the newborn’s first stool tested positive for a marijuana metabolite. Against the recommendation of county social workers (who are usually the villains in stories like this), Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Magistrate Eleanore Hilow decided the drug test result by itself justified separating Nova from her parents. They were not reunited until last week, after a judge overruled Hilow.

Sanford used cannabis tea to treat morning sickness and severe sciatic nerve pain while she was pregnant with Nova, as she had when she was pregnant with Nova’s brother, Logan, who is now almost 2. Her research convinced her marijuana was a safer choice than the painkillers she had been prescribed, and she may be right about that. The Food and Drug Administration puts opioids such as hydrocodone and oxycodone in Category C, meaning “animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans,” although “potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.” The evidence concerning marijuana’s effects on fetuses is likewise mixed and incomplete.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, whose raison d’etre is highlighting the hazards of illegal intoxicants, says “research in rats suggests that exposure to even low concentrations of THC late in pregnancy could have profound and long-lasting consequences for both brain and behavior of offspring.” It adds that “human studies have shown that some babies born to women who used marijuana during their pregnancies respond differently to visual stimuli, tremble more, and have a high-pitched cry, which could indicate problems with neurological development.” NIDA also notes that “children prenatally exposed to marijuana are more likely to show gaps in problem-solving skills, memory, and the ability to remain attentive.” But it admits that “more research is needed…to disentangle marijuana’s specific effects from other environmental factors, including maternal nutrition, exposure to nurturing/neglect, and use of other substances by mothers.”

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