A man battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer was confronted by three Missouri police officers who reportedly searched his possessions for marijuana.
Nolan Sousley shared a Facebook Live video of the encounter on March 6.
The 6-minute video begins with one officer, whom Sousley later identified as being from the Bolivar Police Department, looking through his possessions in his hospital room.
“If we find marijuana we’ll give you a citation, we’re not taking you down to the county jail,” one of the officers told Sousley.
The officer explained that the department had received a call from someone in the hospital who said they smelled marijuana coming from Sousley’s room.
Sousley told the officers that was impossible since he never smokes or uses ground-up plants. He said he only uses capsules filled with THC oil.
“It’s the only choice I got to live, man,” Sousley told the officers. “We’re Americans. I was born here, it’s my right to live.”
Sousley’s doctor enters the room, and after filling her in on the situation, an officer said Sousley had a bag they hadn’t yet searched. Sousley argued that he’d already shown the officer the plastic bag containing the THC capsules, but the officer requested to search the entire bag. Sousley said the bag was filled with medications and would not allow the officers to “dig through that.”
“It has my final-day things in there, and nobody’s gonna dig in it,” Sousley said. “It’s my stuff.”
Sousley eventually allowed one of the officers to look through the bag. The officers did not find any marijuana.
“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,” the hospital said.
During his conversation with the police officers, Sousley explained that Missouri voters had approved Amendment 2 in November, which permits state-licensed physicians to recommend marijuana for medical purposes to patients.
The approved amendment will not take effect until at least January 2020 according to Missouri Health & Senior Services Department.
“I don’t have time to wait for that,” Sousley told the officers about the amendment’s delay. “Tell me what you’d do.”
According to Sousley’s Facebook page, he was admitted to the hospital in May 2018 for jaundice and a blockage. A week later, an oncologist informed him he had pancreatic cancer.
On Wednesday morning, Amber Hedrick-Kidwell posted on Facebook that she had brought Sousley to the hospital because he was experiencing fevers, chills and sweats “to the point of drenching his bed.”