A Kansas advocate of the healing powers of medicinal marijuana lost custody of her son Monday after police earlier seized marijuana and drug paraphernalia from her home in March and placed her child in protective custody.
Garden City police said the case of 37-year-old Shona Banda was forwarded Monday to prosecutors for a decision about any charges. Police said in a statement that possible charges include possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia and child endangerment. No arrests have been made.
A child in need of care proceeding was held Monday in Finney County District Court, involving an 11-year-old boy taken into protective custody on March 24 by the Department of Children and Families and the Garden City Police Department.
Garden City Police Capt. Randy Ralston said police responded to a call from the DCF, which was contacted by Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center on March 24 concerning the welfare of the boy.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
According to her LinkedIn account, Banda is a motivational speaker and cannabis consultant, who wrote a book about the healing benefits that she experienced when using cannabis oil to treat her Crohn’s disease.
Ralston said the boy said some things during a drug education program conducted by the school that concerned some of the teachers and counselors.
Under Kansas’ mandatory reporting statute, all public schools are required to report to DCF or law enforcement when it is believed a child might be in danger.
“The school officials called DCF, DCF did their investigation, and then we were called,” Ralston said.
Officers then went to Banda’s home, where according to Ralston, she denied them consent to search the residence.
Based on what the child had said during the drug education program and interviews with others, Ralston said, police later got a search warrant. During the search, marijuana in plant, oil, joint, gel and capsule form and drug paraphernalia were found, police said.
“We took the boy into protective custody after they found what they found at the house,” Ralston said.
On March 27, after an emergency custody hearing, the boy was placed into the custody of his father, who is separated from Banda.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.