As a part of good health, what we put into our body is as equally important as how we treat it. To have the freedom to treat ourselves with naturally grown plants, nuts, seeds and fruits we have depended on the earth since man has existed. Nutrition from the earth is here for a reason, so why not utilize its given resources, including cannabis, to optimize our overall health?

While many cannabis patients, activists, botanists and scientists would agree that cannabis possesses healing properties, they remain illegal due to billion dollar corporate investors. And guaranteed the pharmaceutical companies play a large role in this revolting situation, as federal government funding continues to aid in their research and development of new drugs and vaccines.

But why should the government force someone to choose to take these drugs instead of cannabis, if cannabis could save them? That the cannabis plant is illegal is not only unnatural and absurd, it is barbarically inhumane to deny someone cannabis if it could ultimately save them.

So then we must ask ourselves, when do we draw the line and when do we cross it?

Shona Banda's background

Shona Banda in her garden

Shona Banda is an American cannabis patient and advocate from Kansas who was, wrongfully, arrested for treating herself with cannabis after being diagnosed with Crohn’s in her early 20s. After trying natural treatments, taking prescribed pills, and following all of her recommended treatments, she found no improvement and felt herself slowly dying.

Though her battle with this illness has imposed many more health obstacles during the course of her life and doctors gave her twelve years to live, she was determined to find a way to survive.

With feelings of desperation and derailment, this miracle plant became present in her life through research because of her family’s support, searching for the best possible remedies to treat her disease. Realizing that Crohn’s and some cancers caused similar complaints and that cannabis treated the same symptoms, it seemed like a good possibility for her. So she gave it a try through the help of family. With nothing but her life to lose, cannabis assisted in treating the ailment that was tormenting Shona daily and lifted up everything for her.

After she started to use cannabis on more of a regular basis, it paved a healing journey for her and her family. Cannabis alleviated her worst pains and discomforts through the worst times and often put her illness into recession. She began to feel alive again, and she felt like she wasn’t dying anymore.

Cannabis gave Shona her life back, literally. She chose what worked best for herself so that she could survive, and came out with genuine hope for getting her quality of life completely back once and for all. But while for every risk there awaits a potential reward, every choice may provoke a negative reaction. Using cannabis was a risk she was willing to take but it’s one that could cost her the freedom she has: Shona is a victim of the American federal legal system and was arrested for choosing to use cannabis as medicine for her health. This is when Shona asked herself, “Should I live free, or die?” Without a blink of an eye she chose to live, and is fighting to live freely.

This is how Shona redefined freedom in her own personal reality to obtain her ultimate reward: to stay alive. Consequently, by breaking these laws she is making the ultimate sacrifice. While her case is yet to be determined, her journey is of the purest bravery I have ever known.

This month I bring you her gripping testimony through this exclusive Twelve High Chicks interview. I hope my story and interview with Shona Banda inspires you to be a voice for the things you ultimately believe in too.