Veteran Claims State Took His Kids Away Because He Uses Medical Marijuana
The state of Kansas reportedly took away the children of a disabled veteran because he uses medical marijuana.
Raymond Schwab, 40, served in the Navy from 1994 to 1996 before being honorably discharged, The Denver Post reports.
In 2013, he began working in Topeka, Kansas as a benefits agent for the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) but transferred to a VA job in Denver two years later.
The married father of six said he took the job so he could also treat his chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder with medical marijuana, which has been legal in Colorado since 2000.
Schwab told The Denver Post traditional treatments such as muscle relaxants and anti-anxiety drugs only "made [him] worse."
But right before they could make the move last April, a family argument led to Schwab's mother-in-law taking his five youngest children to a police station and reporting them abandoned.
The five children, ages 5 to 16, are now in the custody of the state of Kansas and have apparently only seen their parents just three times in the past nine months.
A Kansas judge, along with child-protection workers, reportedly ruled the kids will only be returned if Schwab quits marijuana.
They're basically using my kids as a pawn to take away freedoms I fought for. It's a horrible position to put me in.
Among the conditions the court is requiring for the family to reunite is four months of drug-free urinalysis tests.
Schwab, however, is worried his mental and physical ailments will tear him apart should they go untreated for that long.
According to Schwab, the state of Kansas had him and his wife, Amelia, investigated for child abuse, but the allegations were found to be unsubstantiated and dismissed three months later.
Amelia told The Denver Post,
I don't think what we're doing is illegal, immoral or wrong.
The couple said they since brought their case to the Kansas Court of Appeals.
Raymond and Amelia also set up a GoFundMe page to cover the legal expenses required for a federal lawsuit they intend to file against the state, its department of child services, the Riley County Police Department and the state prosecutor's office.
You can donate to their goal of $60,000 here.