Kansas

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Kansas: Marijuana Advocate Sues State Over Son's Removal

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A Kansas woman is suing the state for removing her 11-year-old son from her custody after he spoke up at school saying that she used and possessed marijuana.

Shana Barda's son was taken from her by authorities after he made comments at school during a drug education program that his mother and other adults at home consumed marijuana. A subsequent search of Barda's home led police to discover more than a pound of marijuana, as well as other marijuana items such as cannabis oil.

Barda filed the federal lawsuit Thursday, alleging the state of Kansas and agents were depriving her of her civil right to use marijuana to treat Chron's disease.

Barda has authored a book describing her use of cannabis oil to treat Chron's, an inflammatory bowel disease.

Acting as her own attorney in the lawsuit, Barda is seeking unspecified damages. She insists in the lawsuit that she educated her 11-year-old boy about marijuana and told him "it is a medication." She says she never allowed him to use the drug.

Barda faces marijuana-related charges in Finney County. The status of that case was not immediately available Saturday.

Kansas: Couple Whose Tea Was Mistaken For Marijuana Loses Federal Suit Over SWAT Raid

RobertAndAdlynnHarte[KCTV]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A federal judge in Kansas last Friday ruled against a couple who'd brought a lawsuit in response to a botched SWAT-style pot raid, in which their home was ransacked by drug agents after a a field test incorrectly identified tea in their garbage as marijuana.

U.S. District Judge John Lungstrum entered the annals of infamy with the ruling that police acted legally and reasonably in planning and conducting the botched raid on the home of Robert and Adlynn Harte, former CIA agents whose children were 7 and 13 ast the time, reports Jacob Sullum at Reason, working on a tip from Marc Sandhaus, a good friend of Hemp News.

The Hartes and their children "were intimidated, accused, traumatized and held under armed guard" for two and a half hours while Johnson County sheriffs' deputies ransacked their home, after which they presented the family with a receipt reading "no items taken," rather than an apology.

According to the lawsuit, when a team of Rambo'd out SWAT team deputies arrived at the suburban Kansas City home, Robert Harte was forced to lie shirtless in the foyer while a deputy with an assault rifle stood over him. The children reportedly came out of their bedrooms terrified, the boy with his hands in the air, reports The Kansas City Star.

Kansas: 80-Year-Old Marijuana Dealer Pleads Guilty In Federal Court

MarshallDion[JunctionCityKSPoliceDepartment]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The dramatic exploits of a lifetime of smuggling came to an end on Thursday when 80-year-old Marshall Herbert Dion entered his guilty plea in federal court to running a huge marijuana-dealing and money-laundering operation.

Dion, who owned houses in Massachusetts, Colorado, and Arizona, had $11 million hidden in a North Reading, Mass., storage facility, and once crawled away from a Wisconsin plane crash as thousands of dollars in cash -- suspected drug profits -- floated through the air around him, reports Milton J. Valencia at The Boston Globe.

Under his plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Dion could serve 5 to 7 years in a federal penitentiary, ending a lucrative career that spanned decades until a chance traffic stop in, of all places, Kansas.

“Over the course of the conspiracy . . . he had sold approximately 3,000 to 10,000 kilograms of marijuana,” Assistant US Attorney Leah Foley claimed during a brief court hearing.

"Mr. Dion has embraced his responsibility and is looking forward to the next chapter in his life," said his lawyer, Hank Brennan.

The end began for Dion's smuggling career with a June 2013 traffic stop in Junction City, Kansas. A police officer pulled him over for driving 80 mph in a 75 mph zone; during the stop, the officer searched Dion's old pickup and found nearly $850,000 in cash.

Kansas: Vietnam Veteran, 65, Denied Pain Pills After Testing Postive For Marijuana

GaryDixonVietnamVeteran[KSNT]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A nationwide argument between the Veterans Administration and groups which protect the rights of veterans emerged in Kansas on Tuesday.

The issue -- whether veterans should be denied prescription medications because they use marijuana for physical or emotional pain, even in states which allow marijuana use -- arose when a Vietnam veteran was denied his pain pills because he tested positive for pot, reports Tyler Carter at KSNT.

"I went in to get a refill on my pain medication and they refused to let me have it, because I have marijuana in my blood," said disabled Vietnam veteran Gary Dixon, 65. While in Vietnam, Dixon was exposed to Agent Orange.

"I hurt, and I hurt from something I got fighting for my country," Dixon said.

He now has Stage 4 lung cancer, apparently doesn't have much time left to live, and readily admits to smoking marijuana.

Dixon and his wife Debbie on Tuesday drove to Topeka from Fort Scott like they customarily do for Dixon's stroke group therapy and to pick up his pain medicine. But this time, he had to take a urine test and sign an opiate consent form.

"I said, if she was wanting to see if I still smoke marijuana, I said I do," said Dixon, who added he'd been using cannabis since 1972.

He takes 10 to 15 presription pills per day, but Tuesday afternoon he walked out of the VA hospital empty handed.

Kansas: Mother, Marijuana Advocate Shona Banda Faces Preliminary Hearing Nov. 16

ShonaBandaShowsBiceps[SupportShonda.com]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Shona Banda, a Kansas mother who faces three felony charges and two misdemeanors for medical marijuana, will face a preliminary hearing on November 16. Banda has not entered a plea, contrary to incorrect press reports; Finney County District Attorney Susan Richmeier incorrectly stated in a Monday email that Banda had done so.

Law enforcement authorities and the Kansas Department of Children and Families started "investigating" Banda after her 11-year-old son said during an anti-drug program at his school that his mom smokes "a lot" of pot, reports Gabriella Dunn of The Wichita Eagle. The 11-year-old could name various strains of cannabis, according to Banda's arrest affidavit.

In an interview last month, Banda told of how cannabis oil has helped her cope with her Crohn's disease, when other medical remedies did not. She wrote a book, Live Free Or Die: Reclaim Your Life ... Reclaim Your Country, about her marijuana use to treat her disease.

"When I'm dying, I'm going to do whatever it takes to save my life," she said during the interview last month. "It's instinct -- it's human instinct at its very core. You should not have to choose your life over a law."

Photo of Shona Banda: SupportShona.com

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