When one state legalizes marijuana but its neighbors don’t, things can get a little messy. Look at Colorado, for example. Last year, Nebraska and Oklahoma both attempted to sue the state, claiming that too many people were coming across state lines with Colorado pot. Fortunately, President Obama pretty much squashed that whole thing. But now another Colorado neighbor—this time, Kansas—is causing problems.
The state of Kansas is currently holding the children of Colorado residents Raymond and Amelia Schwab, and state officials say they won’t give the kids back until the parents stop using medicinal cannabis.
This requirement, however, would necessarily force Raymond to abandon the only effective treatment he’s found for the injuries he sustained while fighting in the Gulf War.
“They’re using my kids as a pawn to take away freedoms I fought for,” Raymond told reporters in Colorado. “It’s a horrible position to put me in.”
In 1996, Raymond was discharged from the Navy with a 50 percent disability rating.
VA doctors initially tried to treat his PTSD and chronic pain with a cocktail of meds including pain medications, muscle relaxants, and anti-anxiety drugs, but Raymond says “they were making me crazy, they made me worse.”
He eventually developed a heroin addiction.
Raymond said he was finally able to get off both the heroin and the prescriptions thanks to medical cannabis treatments.
Then in 2013 he and his family moved to Kansas when he was offered a VA job in Topeka. Two years later, his job transferred to Denver and the family decided to head to Colorado, where Raymond could legally receive treatment.
While the family was moving, however, there was apparently some fight between the Schwabs and extended family members, and at one point, Amelia’s mother took five of the couple’s six children to the police station.
Now Kansas child protection workers won’t give the Schwabs their kids back unless Raymond quits using medicinal cannabis.
Raymond told reporters that he’s scared his health conditions might worsen without marijuana.
Raymond and Amelia have started a GoFundMe page to raise money to fight the state of Kansas in court. They’ve also released a video telling their story: