A Missouri police department is being criticized after officers raided a stage 4 pancreatic cancer patient’s belongings for marijuana in his hospital room.
In live footage shared by Nolan Sousley, the terminal cancer patient, on Facebook on Thursday, officers from the Bolivar Police Department can been seen searching his belongings at Citizens Memorial Hospital, where he was hospitalized.
Sousley told the Bolivar Herald-Free Press earlier this week that a security guard entered his room and asked to search his belongings, saying he smelled weed. Sousley refused, and shortly thereafter, several police officers entered his room to search his bags.
“I had some capsules that had some THC oil in them. I took them outside in the parking lot,” Sousley, who said he doesn’t smoke the drug or use ground-up plants, can be heard telling officers in the video he shared online, which has since racked up more than 500,000 views.
“If we find marijuana, we’ll give you a citation,” one of the officers tells Sousley. “We’re not taking you down to the county jail. We haven’t found marijuana.”
Sousley then reminded the officers that medical marijuana will soon be legal in the state, as doctors will be able to prescribe the drug to patients in Missouri come summer.
But an officer shot back, “It’s still illegal.”
“But I don’t have time to wait for that,” Sousley continued. “Man, what would you do? Tell me what you’d do.”
According to Time, Bolivar Police Chief Mark Webb confirmed that the officers received consent before raiding Sousley’s room and added that they did not find anything illegal during their search.
Webb also said the department does not currently plan to investigate the incident.
Though Citizens Memorial Hospital said it was unable to provide details about the incident because of HIPAA, it told the Springfield News-Leaderthat “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,” the institution added.