Kansas marijuana advocate Shona Banda pleads not guilty

Shona Banda
Shona Banda The Kansas City Star

Shona Banda, a Garden City mom who faces three felonies and two misdemeanors for pot use, pleaded not guilty Monday.

Susan Richmeier, Finney County district attorney, said in an email that a preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 16.

Law enforcement and Kansas Department of Children and Families officials started investigating Banda after her 11-year old son said “my mom smokes ... a lot!” during an anti-drug program at Bernadine Sitts school in Garden City. The 11-year old could even cite various strains of marijuana, according to Banda’s arrest affidavit.

Banda and her attorney, Sarah Swain, could not be reached for comment Monday.

In an interview with Banda last month, Banda talked about how cannabis oil has helped her cope with her Crohn’s disease when she said other medical remedies did not.

Banda wrote a book about her marijuana use to treat her disease called, “Live Free or Die: Reclaim Your Life ... Reclaim Your Country!”

“When I’m dying, I’m going to do whatever it takes to save my life,” she said during the July interview. “It’s instinct — it’s human instinct at its very core. You should not have to choose your life over a law.”

Reach Gabriella Dunn at 316-268-6400 or Follow her on Twitter: @gabriella_dunn.