Medical Marijuana: U.S. Veteran Loses Children Due To Using Medical Marijuana

Louis Babcock - Author
By

Feb. 2 2016, Updated 5:37 a.m. ET

United States veteran, Raymond Schwab, has been fighting to regain custody of his children. Schwab’s children were taken from him over his use of medical marijuana. Schwab and his family were set to move from Kansas to Colorado nine months ago. The purpose of the move was to grow marijuana for medical purposes for United States veterans. The state of Kansas decided that Schwab’s five children were being endangered by exposing them to marijuana, and the state took custody of the children.

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“People who don’t understand the medical value of cannabis are tearing my family apart.”

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Schwab and his wife had left their children in the care of other family members in order to begin the move to Colorado. While the Schwabs were on the road, they got a phone call telling them they needed to appear in court due to their children being brought into custody by the state of Kansas. The family member that was watching the children went to police and told them that the children’s parents abandoned them to go to Colorado and work on a pot farm.

Cases that involve medical marijuana and the safety of children are becoming more common. The issues that are being cited by the people who feel the children are being endangered are due to the potential of children ingesting marijuana and getting high from second-hand exposure. Attorney Jennifer Ani commented on this new legal issue facing parents who legally use medical marijuana.

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“There’s still a stigma against parents who use medical marijuana.”

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The United States Department of Health and Human Services has published a guide, in which it lays out the case that using drugs as a parent is child abuse.

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“Exposing children to the manufacture, possession, or distribution of illegal drugs is considered child endangerment in 11 States. [including Kansas] The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act requires states to have policies and procedures in place to notify child protective services agencies of substance-exposed newborns.”

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Schwab’s case is made more difficult by the fact that it crosses state lines. Medical marijuana is not legal in Kansas, but is in Colorado. Schwab uses a marijuana butter in order to treat PTSD. Prior to using medical marijuana, Schwab was given a variety of different medications, which led to Schwab becoming addicted to heroin.

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“I got addicted to the pain medication, which led to heroin addiction.”

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Schwab has only been able to see his children a total of three times since they were taken away last April. In order to see his children, Schwab is forced to submit to a urine drug screen to see if he has marijuana in his system. He does not find this fair due to the fact that he lives in Colorado and has a prescription to legally use marijuana for medical purposes. In order to regain custody, Schwab needs to have a clean urine test for four consecutive months.

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Sue Sisley is a psychiatrist who studies how marijuana treats PTSD. She commented on how veterans have to live in fear when they are using medical marijuana.

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“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 where they’re afraid to be open to the people around them, for fear that they’ll call CPS.”

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Schwab plans on suing the state of Kansas when he finally regains custody of his children.

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“They’re holding my kids hostage and threatening to terminate my rights if I don’t seek cannabis-abuse therapy in a state that’s legal. They’re threatening other people with jail time or losing their kids if they speak out, but I will not submit. I’ll take this to the supreme court if I have to.”

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In addition, a related Inquisitr article also mentions that the Department of Veterans Affairs is being urged to allow for medical marijuana in states where it’s legal.

Do you think that using medical marijuana constitutes child abuse?

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