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Charges against Garden City mother enflame cannabis community

For years, Garden City resident Shona Banda has been self-medicating her Crohn’s disease with cannabis oil and making no secret of it, touting her homemade vaporizer on YouTube and in a self-published book.

Now, Banda could face up to 17 years in prison for doing so, in a case that has medical marijuana advocates enraged and legislators from both parties saying it is past time to re-examine the state’s drug laws.

“We are terrified,” said Lisa Sublett, founder of the medical marijuana advocacy group Bleeding Kansas. “We are outraged. We are heartbroken. Many are planning to move.”

Marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug at the federal level has hampered peer-reviewed research on its medical benefits. But in some preliminary studies, cannabis extracts have shown promise for treating various ailments, including Crohn’s, a painful bowel disease. About half the states now allow medical marijuana, but in Kansas, possession of any...

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