Raymond Schwab feels both anger and sadness after losing his children who have been taken into custody by the state of Kansas. While Colorado has legalized marijuana, Kansas, where he has lived, hasn’t. It is this lack of understanding towards marijuana that has, according to him, torn his family apart.
Being a US veteran, Schwab had obtained a prescription for medical marijuana in Colorado but before he was about to move there with his wife and kids, the state of Kansas took his five children, aged 5 to 16 years. His intention of moving to Colorado was to grow medical marijuana for fellow US veterans.
This was nine months ago.
Of course, the reason that the state has done this is on the suspicion of child endangerment. This, unfortunately, has led to his family being ensnared in interstate marijuana politics.
In confirming how misled some people are about medical marijuana, a family attorney Jennifer Ani, reveals,
There’s still a stigma against parents who use medical marijuana. As much as marijuana is a moving target throughout the nation, with Child Protective Services it’s even more so.
The issues surrounding their safety involves contact-highs, or them eating raw cannabis. However, these aren’t scientifically proven, given that contact-highs are a myth while cannabis will have to be cooked before it can get you high.
Even though the US Health and Human Services is silent on the matter, Schwab’s case puts him in an awkward position given that Colorado considers marijuana legal while Kansas does not.
Serving as a US Navy veteran in the Gulf War, Schwab revealed that he used a homemade cannabis butter to treat his chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. This led to substance abuse and alcoholism as he continued to struggle with these mental health issues.
Even though he was prescribed sedatives, antidepressants and chronic pain medication, the only thing that has helped him with his pain, anxiety and depression is cannabis. In fact, his addiction to the pain medication led to a heroin addiction that he kicked after a stint in rehab in 2011.
As for moving to Colorado in early 2015, he had made arrangements for a transfer from his job at the Department of Veterans Affairs. This was so that he could grow cannabis while also working with veterans who use the plant in the same manner as well.
When the time came to move, they left their children with relatives. Yet after driving 60 miles away from their home, they received a call that they had to appear in an emergency hearing that day because their children were in state custody.
The reason for that call was because one of the relatives who was taking care of their children took them to the police station. The children were taken into custody as soon as the police were informed that their parents had abandoned them to work on a pot farm in Colorado.
This incident took place in April last year and since then, Schwab had only seen them three times. He goes on to say that there was no formal investigation conducted on him or even his home in Kansas. What he also points out is that it was only the relative’s testimony that was taken into consideration when taking the children into custody.
A psychiatrist, Dr. Sue Sisley, who is studying the impact of cannabis on post-traumatic stress disorder, also explains why cannabis is important, saying,
A lot of these vets, they can’t function without their meds. And they have to live in fear of a positive drug test, and losing their kids to Child Protective Services. So they live this crazy, covert lifestyle, being afraid to be open to the people around them, for fear that they’ll call CPS.
According to Ani, there have been cases where children have been moved out of their homes even in states where marijuana is considered legal.
A number of cases much like the Schwabs’ have garnered attention from marijuana activists while leaving family attorneys and Child Protective Services (CPS) confused as to where the lines have to be drawn when it comes to the legalization of cannabis.
Schwab, in particular, has already stated that once he gets his children back, he will sue the state for violating his constitutional rights and will go to the Supreme Court if necessary.