A Kid in Kansas Challenged His School's Anti-Drug Program — So the Police Raided His House

A Kid in Kansas Challenged His School's Anti-Drug Program — So the Police Raided His House

If you live in Kansas, better teach your kids to "just say no" when the teachers tell them to.

After an elementary school student in Garden City told anti-drug counselors they were wrong about marijuana, the school got the local police officers to search the student's residence. When they found a small amount of weed, the kid was transferred to state custody.

What happened: BenSwann.com reports that on March 24, police officers arrived at the home of Kansas cannabis oil activist Shona Banda, searched her home, seized her personal stash of marijuana and THC oil and took her son away. The reason, she told the site, was because her 11-year-old son challenged information being provided by an anti-drug program operated by her local elementary school.

It's not clear what the child said, but Banda has Crohn's disease and claims that using cannabis oil is the only way she has found to alleviate her symptoms. As an advocate of her unconventional treatment, her use of the oil has been covered by alternative medicine sites like Natural News.

The Washington Post confirmed that during the anti-drug program, which was run by the school, "Banda's son apparently contradicted some of the claims made about marijuana." The school then contacted child protection services, which in turn went to police. After they were refused entry to Banda's home, the officers obtained a warrant and turned up evidence of drug activity.

Banda's son was then taken; a custody hearing is set for Monday, the Washington Post reported. Furthermore, according to the Washington Post, a police spokesman would not comment on whether charges were pending and that "possession of marijuana is illegal in Kansas, without exception."

Why you should care: As the Washington Post reports, had Banda lived just "an hour to the west" in neighboring Colorado, anyone who felt the need to object to her personal consumption of hash oil to treat a devastating disease would have been restricted to airing their opinion. In Kansas, where the war on marijuana is still in full swing, apparently challenging a school's anti-drug rhetoric is enough to trigger a full-home search for medical marijuana.

Art Way of the Colorado branch of the Drug Policy Alliance said the incident is more evidence of a double standard that targets marijuana users for harassment and arrest.

"Parents should be judged for their parenting, not for what substances they use, medically or otherwise," he wrote in the Huffington Post. "Many parents have pain medications, alcohol, weapons, cleaning products and other dangerous substances in their home. If the mere presence of these substances and objects alone do not constitute child neglect or abuse, neither should the mere presence of marijuana."

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, Kansas has some of the harshest anti-pot laws in the country despite the fact that 70% of Kansans support legal medical marijuana. This incident should remind the public that although times are certainly changing as far as pot is concerned, some states are fighting marijuana with tactics as dirty and heavy-handed as ever.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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