State Confiscates Veteran's Kids Over Medical Marijuana-PTSD Treatment

“They’re basically using my kids as a pawn to take away freedoms I fought for”
Adan Salazar

Jan. 15, 2016

A Gulf War veteran who moved to Colorado last year has had his children confiscated by the State of Kansas over his use of marijuana as a treatment for PTSD symptoms.

Raymond Schwab, 40, relied on medical marijuana to treat PTSD after he suffered severe side effects from medicines prescribed by the VA.

“They were making me crazy, they made me worse,” Schwab told The Denver Post.

After living in Kansas for years, Schwab, his wife Amelia and their five youngest children, aged five to 16, decided to leave the state and start a new life in Colorado where marijuana was recently made legal.

Unfortunately before they left, Amelia’s mother reported them to Kansas Child Protective Services as “unfit parents.” After child welfare officials seized the children, her mother said she regreted making the call.

Nine months later, and after a judge found the mother’s allegations unsubstantiated, the state is still requiring Schwab to curb medicinal marijuana use and submit to urine analysis for four months, which the veteran says will be difficult.

“What if I didn’t make it through four months?” Schwab asks.

Schwab and his wife are now asking how the state is able to keep them in custody, despite charges against them being dismissed.

“I don’t think what we’re doing is illegal, immoral or wrong,” Amelia says.

Schwab says he and his wife have only been granted visitation with the children three times since April.

Schwab, who served in the Navy from 1994 to 1996 and was honorably discharged, feels the state is unjustly using his children to punish him.

“They’re basically using my kids as a pawn to take away freedoms I fought for,” he said. “It’s a horrible position to put me in.”

As pointed out by the Denver Post, the parents’ struggle highlights a dilemma facing many patients, especially those who require medical cannabis but live in states like Kansas where possession of any amount of marijuana, including for medicinal use, is illegal.

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