Farmland early in the morning somewhere in Kansas.

Garett Gabriel

Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit by Kansas Activist Who Lost Custody of Son

A District of Kansas federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by a Garden City mother and activist who lost custody of her son over using cannabis oil to treat her Chron’s disease, according to a report from National Public Radio-affiliate KCUR . District Court Judge J. Thomas Marten dismissed the action levied by Shona Banda finding that she failed to respond to the defendants’ “prima facie arguments,” or self-evident claims.

Banda represented herself in the suit, naming as defendants the state of Kansas and Republican Gov. Sam Brownback; the state Department for Children and Families and its secretary Phyllis Gilmore; the Garden City school district and one of its employees; and the Garden City Police Department and its chief Michael D. Utz.

The lawsuit was filed after police raided her home and seized the cannabis oil, dried cannabis, and paraphernalia after her 11-year-old son mentioned her cannabis use at an anti-drug presentation at his school. Her son was moved to the guardianship of the Department of Children and Families alleging that the home was not safe for the child. The Finney County district attorney filed drug charges against Banda which carry a maximum of 30 years in prison.

In the suit, Banda argued that she had a “fundamental right” to medicinal cannabis because other states have decriminalized possession. She sought the return of her son and unspecified damages. Her criminal case is pending.

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