A Missouri police department has come under fire after officers raided a stage 4 pancreatic cancer patient’s belongings for marijuana in his hospital room.
Nolan Sousley was in his room at Citizens Memorial Hospital when officers with the Bolivar Police Department arrived and began combing through his belongings for marijuana. Sousey says a security guard came into his room earlier and asked to search his things, but that he refused.
The police came by shortly afterward; when they did, Sousley and his family members began recording. The video, streamed live to Facebook, shows officers searching through bags on a hospital bed.
“I had some capsules that had some THC oil in them. I took them outside in the parking lot,” Sousley can be heard telling the officers in the video.
“If we find marijuana, we’ll give you a citation,” one of the officers replies. “We’re not taking you down to the county jail. We haven’t found marijuana.”
Sousley points out that medical marijuana will soon be legal in the state, to which an officer responds:
“It’s still illegal.”
“But I don’t have time to wait for that,” Sousley retorts. “Man, what would you do? Tell me what you’d do.”
Posted by Nolan's Tribe of Warriors Against Cancer on Wednesday, March 6, 2019
The officers did find the CBD oil Sousley mentions––which is legal––and did not write him a citation.
Bolivar Police Chief Mark Webb confirmed to the Bolivar Herald-Free Press that the officers had received consent before searching Sousley’s room. Bolivar City Attorney Donald Brown also said that the city and the police department have launched investigations into the incident.
The outrage is palpable.
The conflict between passing laws to allow for legal use of Marijuana and laws that makes its possession illegal has to be resolved. In the meantime, searching a person with stage 4 pancreatic cancer for Marijuana showcases the need to think!! https://t.co/R8LFTWZTPK
— Sherif Zaafran, MD (@szaafran) March 10, 2019
Someone called 911 on a fricking stage 4 dying cancer patient? What a disgusting narc nation of tattle tales we've become. It's fascist by nature to call in the goons for this sort of thing. Also note that in Missouri, medical marijuana will be legal in a few months anyway. https://t.co/RPJjSjIM58
— Stacy Herbert (@stacyherbert) March 10, 2019
Nice…really shows the integrity of the Bolivar Missouri police. Also, the staff at Citizens Memorial Hospital telling him no one will help him if he's recording is equally disgusting. https://t.co/iBY2951MSz
— JustAnotherHuman (@GrininJoker) March 8, 2019
The Marijuana Policy Project called the raid “a waste of resources.”
Wow. Police officers were called to the hospital room of a patient with stage-four pancreatic cancer to search for marijuana.
This is a waste of resources to say the least. https://t.co/rqYrL8jwfc
— Marijuana Policy Project (@MarijuanaPolicy) March 8, 2019
MassRoots, a technology platform for cannabis consumers, said the raid is further indication that cannabis needs to be legalized as soon as possible.
A stage 4 cancer patient's hospital room is searched by police for marijuana. Nolan, the patient, told the hospital and doctors about using THC capsules in place of prescribed opioids. This is why we need to legalize cannabis now. pic.twitter.com/h1OZVtqqFx
— MassRoots (@MassRoots) March 8, 2019
Missouri legalized medical marijuana in Nov 2018. Serious patients like Nolan will have to wait almost a year to legally receive the treatment they deserve now while risking a citation, being arrested, etc. The citizens voted, patients shouldn’t have to continue to suffer.
— MassRoots (@MassRoots) March 9, 2019
Citizens Memorial Hospital issued the following statement:
“Unfortunately, due to HIPAA, we are unable to comment about any specific patient, their treatment or what was done or not done in any particular situation. Generally speaking, it is against the hospital’s policy to smoke or vape on the hospital’s campus. It is also our policy to call appropriate law enforcement any time hospital personnel see or reasonably suspect illegal drug use in patient rooms or otherwise on campus.”
Missouri voters chose to legalize medical marijuana last November, but possession is still currently illegal as officials create rules for the approved ballot measure. The new rules, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, will take effect “no later than June 4, 2019.”