‘Terminal lives matter’: Backlash after police search stage 4 cancer patient’s room for marijuana

‘Terminal lives matter’: Backlash after police search stage 4 cancer patient’s room for marijuana
Nolan Sousley said he would like to see the security guard who called police lose his job. (Source: Family Photo/KDAF/CNN)

BOLIVAR,MO (WDAF/CNN) - A man with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and his wife are calling for more relaxed attitudes from law enforcement surrounding medical marijuana treatments after his Missouri hospital room was searched by police this week.

A video of the search has sparked outrage, with critics calling it a violation of the patient, Nolan Sousley. A security guard had accused him of smoking marijuana in his room, and then called police.

All they found was CBD oil, or Cannabidiol. According to Harvard Medical School, CBD oil is a component of medical marijuana, derived from hemp plant, but does not deliver a marijuana-like high on its own.

It’s also completely legal in Missouri.

Sousley said he was just trying to get some rest on Wednesday when his ordeal began.

He said a security guard at Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar, south of Kansas City, told him he “smelled marijuana coming from your room.”

“I was like, ‘It's not me. I didn't have any marijuana, now leave me alone, because I'm trying to sleep.’”

In a Facebook live video that went viral, you hear Sousley mention he had THC oil, another component of marijuana that does have psychoactive properties, but took it out of the hospital.

Missourians voted to make medical marijuana legal in the state, but the change hasn't happened yet.

Eventually police come into his hospital room and begin to go through his things, when he never gave them permission to.

"What would you do? Tell me what you would do?" he asks one officer, meaning if the officer was in his place as a cancer patient.

"I'm not in your situation so I'm not going to play the 'what-if’ games,” the officer responds.

Sousley's wife Amber Kidwell said she's glad the state approved medical marijuana, and hopes it will help people like cannabis products help her husband.

"It's huge for us, because it's a medical thing. It's a medical cannabis to help him with his life,” she said. “A better quality of life. Why do we not get that opportunity to give him a better quality of life?"

Sousley said he would like to see the security guard lose his job and the couple hopes the viral confrontation has a positive outcome.

"People you don't know are saying, ‘don't give up, keep fighting,’ and it makes you want to fight more,” Kidwell said. “And then you have people telling their story. To me that's even bigger. You're reading stories of people saying, ‘we're fighting the same fight.’”

Sousley said he just wanted to see compassion out of people.

"Terminal lives matter. Love thy neighbor. Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you. Give everybody a hug,” he said.

He said life is too short to argue.

In a statement the hospital said it is policy to call law enforcement if drug abuse is suspected, but didn't indicate administrators wanted Sousley's bags searched.

The Bolivar Police Department hasn't commented on their actions, but said they've received threats since the video went viral.

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