The state of Kansas took a veteran’s children because he was using legal medical marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) he developed while serving his country in uniform.
“They’re basically using my kids as a pawn to take away freedoms I fought for,” Raymond Schwab, the father and a Navy veteran, told The Denver Post. “It’s a horrible position to put me in.”
Schwab’s ordeal began when he and his wife were preparing for a move from Kansas to Colorado for his job, and his mother-in-law took their five children (ages 5 to 16) to a police station. She says she now regrets doing it, the newspaper said.
Medical marijuana is illegal in Kansas even though it is widely available just across the state line in Colorado. Schwab already had a medicinal marijuana card from when he previously lived in the state.
Police turned the kids over to social workers, who took custody of the kids. The state kept custody of the children even though allegations of emotional abuse against Schwab – a Gulf War veteran — were found to be unsubstantiated.
When Schwab tried to get the kids back, a judge ordered that he and his wife, Amelia, give up marijuana for four months and undergo urinalysis tests to confirm they were drug free. That meant Schwab would have to go back on VA-prescribed pain relievers he claims had destroyed his life. Marijuana, he said, has been more effective in treating his symptoms than traditional drugs.
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Schwab tried to go off marijuana even though he thinks his conditions will worsen without marijuana. Despite that, Schwab still does not have the kids back and has only seen them three times, The Post reported. The children are still in a state foster home, the newspaper reported.
Honorably Discharged Veteran
Schwab is an honorably discharged Navy veteran who served in the Navy during the 1990s. He was certified 50 percent disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and prescribed a variety of drugs, including pain relievers, muscle relaxants and anti-anxiety drugs.
He says the VA drugs made him worse and led to a heroin addiction he overcame with cannabis therapy.
Schwab is not the only out-of-state resident who lost children to Kansas  authorities due to medical marijuana. Amber Thurmond believes she lost custody of her 9-year-old daughter because of her advocacy for medical marijuana, Off The Grid News  reported.
Another mom, Shona Banda , lost custody of her son after the boy mentioned at school that she used medical marijuana.
Schwab this month testified before a Kansas state Senate committee on behalf of a bill to legalize medical marijuana .
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