A viral video that appears to show police officers searching a cancer patient's hospital room for marijuana sparked outrage on social media

Screenshots via Facebook
  • Missouri police are at the center of social media outrage over a viral video that appears to show officers searching a cancer patient’s hospital room for marijuana.
  • Nolan Sousley, who suffers from stage 4 pancreatic cancer, can be heard on the video telling officers that he only uses cannabis in the form of pills that contain THC oil.
  • Though the officers reportedly didn’t find any substances and issued no citations, the video garnered hundreds of thousands of views and set off debates across social media about patient privacy and medical marijuana policy.

A Missouri cancer patient and local police are at the center of social media outrage after a video that appears to show officers searching his hospital room for marijuana went viral.

While Nolan Sousley, who suffers from stage 4 pancreatic cancer, was staying at Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar, Missouri, three officers searched several of his personal bags after saying they were responding to a call about marijuana in the room, according to the video and an account from police.

In a video of the incident posted to “Nolan’s Tribe of Warriors Against Cancer” Facebook page, Sousley can be heard arguing with the officers and saying he is a cannabis user who only takes pills that contain THC oil, and protesting as they search the room.

Read more: Here’s what you need to know about the difference between CBD and THC.

“It has my final day things in there,” Sousley says in the video “and nobody’s going to dig in it. It’s my stuff, it’s my final hour stuff is in that bag. It’s my right to have my final – I’m not digging it down here in front of everybody.”

The video went viral after it was posted late Wednesday, with more than 510,000 views on Facebook and 820,000 on YouTube as of Saturday morning.

A spokesperson for the Bolivar Police told INSIDER the department had no comment about the incident.

Bolivar Police Chief Mark Webb told the Springfield News-Leader that officers didn’t find any marijuana and issued no citations, but that hasn’t cooled public outrage over the incident.

“I’ve got my staff in tears,” Webb told the News-Leader. “People are calling and actually making threats against police.”

The video went viral on Twitter as well after MassRoots, a cannabis purchasing platform, posted the video alongside a call for legalizing marijuana and received more than 17,000 retweets as of Saturday morning.

Twitter users were quick to criticise the crackdown on the substance and take aim at the hospital for apparently violating Sousley’s privacy.

Users also took issue with the officers spending time searching a patient’s belongings while they could be conducting other business.

The hospital said it could no cannot comment due to federal privacy laws, but said in a statement to the News-Leader that it is standard policy to call police when employees suspect illegal drug use on hospital grounds.

Medical marijuana was legalised in Missouri in December 2018, but state officials recently announced that physicians cannot issue certifications for patient medical marijuana until June 4.

Conversations among lawmakers and advocacy groups about the supposed healing benefits of marijuana are on the rise in America, as many credit marijuana with alleviating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and a whole range of other pains, despite limited research on the substance.

Read more:

Congress quietly passed a hemp law that has people wondering about the difference between CBD and THC. Here’s what you need to know

How smoking cannabis can affect your sleep for better or worse

10 celebrities who have opened up about using marijuana for medicinal purposes

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