Kansas Preteen Detained, His Mom Arrested, After He Spoke Up About Medical Marijuana At School

A Kansas mom is in danger of losing custody of her son after the preteen spoke up in favor of medical marijuana during a school anti-drug education program, The Washington Post is reporting.

The events took place on March 24, but are only now gaining attention in the national media.

Shona Banda of Garden City, Kansas, told reporter Ben Swann that on that fateful day, her preteen son was at school, attending an anti-drug education program. According to Shona’s account of the events, during the program, the preteen questioned some of the information being given in the program.

“My son says different things like my ‘Mom calls it cannabis and not marijuana.’ He let them know how educated he was on the facts.”

School officials apparently took the boy’s extensive knowledge of marijuana as evidence that a crime might be taking place in the home where he lived, and that he may be in danger. School officials “detained” the preteen and asked him questions, while police showed up at his mom’s door with questions.

“They pulled my son out of school at about 1:40 in the afternoon and interrogated him. Police showed up at my house at 3… I let them know that they weren’t allowed in my home without a warrant… I didn’t believe you could get a warrant off of something a child says in school. We waited from 3 o’clock until 6 o’clock. They got a warrant at 6 o’clock at night and executed a warrant into my home.”

Shona describes herself as a medical cannabis activist and claims that she has successfully treated her Crohn’s Disease with cannabis oil. Police found marijuana and various marijuana preparations (gels, oils) at her home, according to The Garden City Telegram, as well as drug paraphernalia. She was arrested and taken into police custody, while her son was placed temporarily into the custody of his father, Shona’s estranged husband.

Washington Post reporter Radley Balko was able to confirm some aspects of Shona’s story by speaking to the Garden City Police Department. An unidentified spokesperson confirmed that police were concerned about possible drug activity at the preteen’s home based on statements he made at school. They also confirmed that a search was conducted at the home after securing a warrant.

As of this post, no criminal charges have been filed against the preteen’s mother; however, Garden City police have confirmed that he has been removed from her custody pending a hearing. A hearing is scheduled for April 20, at which time a judge will determine whether or not she’ll regain custody of her son.

Do you believe the police were right in removing the preteen from his mother’s custody after he spoke up about medical marijuana at school? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/akiradesigns]