The trial of Shona Banda, a local medical marijuana advocate who faces multiple drug charges, has been postponed.
Finney County District Court Administrator Kurtis Jacobs said he learned Wednesday that the trial was postponed from its original starting date of Monday to Aug. 14 after Chief District Judge Wendel Wurst granted a request for continuance by Banda’s defense team.
Banda, who has become an advocate for the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes after using it to treat her Crohn’s disease, faces up to 30 years in prison on charges of endangering a child, distribution or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of school property, unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia in relation to her use of marijuana products at the home she shared with her then 11-year-old son.
Cannabis is classified as a schedule 1 drug on the federal level and is illegal for medical and recreational use in Kansas.
Banda pleaded not guilty to the charges during the first segment of a pretrial conference in April, when medical cannabis experts and advocates gave preliminary testimonies on behalf of the defense and were cross-examined by prosecutors from the Finney County Attorney’s Office.
Banda most recently appeared in court during the second segment of her pretrial conference in May, when prosecutors invited their own expert witnesses to testify, including a gastroenterologist and members of the Garden City Police Department who were involved in investigating Banda’s case.
The testimony during pretrial was given to determine which witnesses and evidence will be admissible during trial.
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