BOLIVAR, Mo. — A Missouri man battling Stage 4 cancer says police targeted him and searched his hospital room for marijuana, and he says he has the video to prove it.
The officers involved said it’s all part of the job, but the small Bolivar Police Department is now facing complaints.
Nolan Sousley is fighting Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and was in the middle of a chemotherapy treatment at Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar.
Police said they responded to a call about a smell of marijuana coming from the hospital Wednesday night. When officers entered Sousley’s room, that’s when he and his family members started recording on their phones.
The video, streamed live to Facebook, shows a group of Bolivar police officers searching bags sitting on a nearby bed. A doctor later shows up and asks the family to stop recording. See the footage in the video player above.
FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt spoke with Sousley over the phone Friday. He said he felt violated and is tired of being attacked when he’s just trying to save his own life.
Missouri voters approved medical marijuana last year, but it isn’t legal to use yet. The state isn’t taking applications for patient ID cards until July, and doctors can’t certify patients for medical marijuana use until June.
Ultimately, the officer found CBD oil, which is legal. They didn’t find actual marijuana. Officers didn’t write any tickets.
Bolivar City Attorney Donald Brown said the city and the police chief are investigating the incident. But Bolivar police said the department is getting threats since the video has been shared over 8,000 times on Facebook.
The hospital issued the following statement to FOX4:
“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.”