Shona Banda says she had a clear choice: Live in misery or use medical marijuana to ease her Crohn’s disease and risk going to jail.
Turned out to be an easy call for the Garden City, Kan., woman. She said her symptoms eased to the point where she could return to work and once again play with her young son.
But she didn’t count on that same son, now 11, speaking out in school recently about the benefits of medical marijuana, including saying that it had saved his mother’s life. School officials contacted police, who searched her house and found marijuana and cannabis oil.
That’s where her old choice took a new turn. Police didn’t take her to jail. Authorities took her son away and put him in protective state custody.
A month ago, Banda, 37, was a massage therapist eking out a living in the back room of a health food store.
Today, her story has gone global. More than 84,000 people have signed an online petition supporting her. Signatures have come from across the country as well as Spain, France, India, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, Slovenia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.