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Posted on: March 10, 2019 at 12:02 pm
Last updated: March 19, 2019 at 4:24 pm

The altercation was filmed by the patient himself. Nolan Sousley is a stage 4 pancreatic cancer patient receiving treatment at Citizen’s Memorial Hospital, Bolivar, Missouri. On Thursday the 7th of March, he received a shake-down from the cops following a phone call reporting him to be in possession of cannabis.

Nolan uploaded the live video on his Facebook page named Nolan’s Tribe of Warriors Against Cancer [1]. It sparked major outrage from people all over the country and beyond. In 32 out of the 50 United States, the use of medical cannabis is legalized. Missouri lawmakers have since voted in favor of the legalization of the use of medical cannabis [2]. Missouri is the 33rd state to make the call, but unfortunately, the bill is yet to be implemented.

Sleepless nights and restless days

Speaking to the local news station, Nolan said he was trying to get some rest in his room on Thursday night when a security guard came in, insisting that he could smell cannabis in the air [3].

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“I hadn’t slept for days,” he said. “As a terminal patient, you always ask, ‘Is this the time I’ll fall asleep and not wake up?’ It makes it hard to sleep. I told him (the guard), ‘I don’t smoke marijuana. I don’t have any with me,’” Nolan said. When the security guard requested to search his belongings, Nolan refused and ordered him to leave. The guard then placed a call to the police.

The doctor speaks for Noah

In the video, Nolan could be heard groggily explaining the situation to an officer going through his and his partner’s belongings.

Nolan’s doctor came into the room and demanded to know why they were going through a terminal patient’s belongings, disturbing his sleep in the process.

“Do you have the right to search his stuff? Or do you need a warrant for that?” the doctor asked. Apparently, the police had received consent from the hospital to search the patient’s room.

“If we find marijuana, we’ll give you a citation. We’re not taking you down to the county jail. But, we haven’t found marijuana, so we’re not citing,” the officer said to as he continued sifting through Nolan’s bags.

Nolan and his partner, Amber Kidwell had reportedly stepped out on the parking lot sometime around 10:30 pm. He’d taken THC oil pills and a few puffs of Swisher Sweets, a cigarette. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal psychoactive component of cannabis [4]. Nolan insists that he doesn’t use marijuana and that his doctors are aware of his THC use.

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Amber and Nolan permitted the officers to search their bags, but Nolan vehemently refused to let them search his bag of medications. He felt the violation would have taken on a whole new turn if they touched that bag.

It has my final day things in there and nobody’s going to dig in it,” he says. “It’s my stuff. It’s my final hour stuff.” At that moment, the doctor pleaded with Nolan to stop recording the video, and a short while later, it came to an end.

Police and CMH statements

Following the massive public outcry on Facebook, CMH says they are currently unable to speak about the altercation.

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“We are unable to comment about any specific patient, their treatment or what was done or not done in any particular situation. 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.”

Chief Mark Webb of Bolivar P.D said that the officers received permission from the hospital to search the patient’s room.

It’s still a controlled substance in Missouri,” he said. “It’s not legal yet,” the chief said, referring to the yet-to-be-implemented bill on the legalization of cannabis in the state. He says an investigation will commence soon on the comportment of the officers in the video, but that “no one is being fired.”

Nolan is still reeling from the event [5]. He feels the laws against cannabis are totally wrong for people in his condition.

“I’m trying to defend the cops,” Nolan said. “They did what they had to do. But, I’m their customer. 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.”

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