Despite medical marijuana being officially legalized in the of Missouri, police were filmed having rifling through the belongings of a terminally ill man who was suspected of being in possession of Marijuana.
In December 2018, police were called to Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar, Missouri, after being alerted by a security guard who claimed to have smelled Marijuana.
However, the patient in question, Nolan Sousley, was suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer and had chosen to use his own THC oil to manage his pain, nausea and appetite.
Doctors treating Sousley were aware that he was taking THC oil. However, the medical marijuana bill which recently passed in Missouri had not yet come into force which gave police the green light to raid through his property without any consideration to the circumstances that Nolan was in.
In an exchange with police officers, that was videotaped and now gone viral, Nolan said:
“Medically, in Missouri, it’s legal, they just haven’t finished the paperwork,”
The officer, replies, “okay, well, it is still illegal.”
Nolan: “Tell me what you’d do,”
Nolan asked the officer to step into his shoes and imagine what he would do in this scenario.
“I’m not in that situation, so I’m not gonna play these ‘what if’ games,” the officer replied.
“You wouldn’t do anything to save your life?” asked Nolan.
The police officer displayed his lack of knowledge by sarcastically replying:
“Marijuana is saving your life?”
With Nolan’s family attempting to calm him down, he persisted in telling the police that he uses THC capsules instead of opioids, and there is no Marijuana in the room.
It seems so ironic that these authorities (who are there to protect and serve the population) chose to harass a patient who uses THC (which has never killed anyone) instead of opioids which kill around 150 Americans each day.
It has become much more common for seriously, or even terminally ill, patients to turn to using Marijuana either as a substitute or in combination with modern pharmaceutical approaches to treat their illnesses.
Ailments from PTSD, epilepsy and cancers can benefit from THC/CBD concentrations to either alleviate physical pain, reduce anxiety and even reverse the course of progressive illnesses.
It was a positive move by the doctor to intervene in this scenario and asked if they had probable cause, or if they needed a search warrant. The police left without any evidence, as there were likely to be none as THC capsules do not leave a smell and Nolan was not smoking either.
Soulsley later expressed in the Bolivar Herald-Free Press:
“I’m sick of our country, the way it is right now. I don’t support the rules they have written. I use cannabis to save my life. I have the right to try anything. How can they say I can’t? I have the right to live.”
He further added that he didn’t want to blame the police for simply doing their job and that this incident, he hopes, would inspire positive changes in the legality of Marijuana across America.
The hospital did apologize to Nolan Sousley and his family and stated their intention to retrain their staff to ensure that all patients are treated with dignity and respect.
On the other hand, the police department received a barrage of complaints which led to them deleting its Facebook page as well as their phone operator claiming to have been called “every name in the book”
Well, with the changing attitudes towards Marijuana, the response from the public is far from shocking. Perhaps it’s now time for the authorities to change their tune. Maybe tackle the opioid crisis instead of needlessly chasing dying cancer patients in hospitals?
You can watch the incident here: