Most Affected: How a Federal Pot Charge Continues to Impact Katree Saunders’ Prospects

Most Affected usually features a series of subjects who were sentenced or are serving long-term or life sentences. Katree Darriel Saunders’ story is different, but challenging all the same.

Saunders, a mother of four, cannabis advocate and one-time employee in the Nevada medical space, served four months in federal prison over a probation violation after choosing cannabis over opioids to treat her traumatic brain and body injuries. That choice has burdened Saunders for over a decade, largely preventing her from working in the industry despite years of experience, success and an otherwise spotless record. 

Courtesy of Katree SaundersMost Affected: Pain Leads to Cannabis Treatment for Katree Darriel Saunders

Severe injuries have plagued Saunders since her teens. At 16, the then-McDonald’s employee slipped, resulting in a head injury. “That led me on the path to doctors and physical therapy,” she recalled. 

Part of her treatment included opioid medication and muscle relaxers. She immediately did not like the effect they had on her. “It doesn’t put you in a very good mental place,” she said of medication that made her feel like she was in a fog. Saunders added that opioids often left her feeling itchy, as if she had an allergic reaction that also irritated

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