Banda’s lawyer presents expert witnesses to the court

Shona Banda (KSN File Photo)

FINNEY COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – On Friday, the Garden City woman accused of marijuana and child endangerment charges was back in court.

Shona Banda says her use of cannaboid oil is necessary to treat her Crohn’s disease.

At today’s hearing, her lawyer argued to be able to allow a doctor to testify in support of that defense. The hearing could determine the course of the trial itself.

The defense presented two expert witnesses to the court to determine if they are qualified to testify in the case.

Most of the day, about four hours, was spent on Dr. David Allen, who laid out his knowledge of the human endocannabinoid system.

“It’s a chemical communications system that involves these protein receptors that are on all your cells,” he said.

Dr. Allen said that he’s studied the effects of medicinal cannabis from Spanish and Israeli clinical trials, and he’s qualified to give expert testimony on its efficacy.

Assistant Finney County Attorney Will Votypka argued that Allen’s testimony shouldn’t be allowed.

“There was a decision by an administrative judge in California that suspended your license for 90 days, correct?” he asked Allen.

“Yes, that’s true,” said Allen, speaking from Sacramento via live video, “but it happened after I had voluntarily closed my office.”

Banda said she is confident in her expert.

“The prosecution did try very hard to discredit him,” she told KSN, “but I don’t believe he was discredited at all.”

She says his testimony is crucial to her defense.

“Half of it is ending the ignorance of the endocannabinoid system within all of our bodies,” she said.

The Finney County Attorneys told KSN that their expert is a doctor who will say there is no proof that cannabis treats illnesses, including Crohn’s disease, which Banda suffers from.

The judge did not make a decision on the motion today, because the prosecution still has to present their expert witness to the court. That hearing is scheduled for May 12.


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