Last week, the state of Kansas charged mother of two Shona Banda with five felony counts of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, manufacturing Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of child endangerment. These felony charges mean that Banda could face up to 30 years in prison.

And why has she been charged? Because she uses marijuana to help her debilitating Crohn’s Disease.

Earlier this year, Banda’s 11-year old son was taken from her by child protection services as her use of marijuana was deemed to have put the child in danger. Now the young mother, will be forced to turn herself in and could face up to 3 decades in jail.

Sarah Swain, a Kansas attorney who is representing Banda in her case stated to the press;

“These mothers are being forced to choose between their health and their ability to be a parent. And there really is no choice to be made. We can’t be mothers if we’re so sick that we’re bedridden, or if we aren’t alive.”

Banda has tried 17 prescriptive medications to combat her illness. Doctors told her that these drugs would “ease her passing”, expecting her to die. However, she has stated that since using medical marijuana, her health has taken a significant turn for the better, allowing her to be a more active mother for her children. Now, the only medicine that Banda believes is working for her, is to be taken away from her, along with her child and (potentially) her freedom.

Below are Kansas State Laws for the Possession, Sale and Cultivation of Marijuana:

Kansas