Kansas Takes US Veteran's Children Away Over Medical Marijuana Use

Feb 11, 2016

Raymond Schwab with his family in undated photo. ‘People who don’t understand the medical value of cannabis are tearing my family apart,’ said the father of five.
Credit Courtesy of Raymond Scwhab

Raymond Schwab, a US veteran and a native Kansan, has become a lightning rod in the interstate battle over legalized marijuana, reports The Guardian. Tensions have been running high between Colorado and neighboring states whose residents want to purchase cannabis.

A US navy veteran who served in the Gulf war, Schwab uses cannabis to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. Nine months ago, Schwab tried to move to Colorado to grow medical marijuana for fellow veterans. While he and his wife were in Colorado preparing for the move, the state of  Kansas took five of his children into custody on suspicion of child endangerment. Schwab says marijuana is the only medication that helps with his anxiety, depression and physical pain.

Jennifer Ani, a family law attorney, says concerns about contact-highs or children eating raw cannabis are not scientifically sound arguments that a child is in danger.

The communications director for the Kansas department of children and families (DCF) has said that “children are not removed from the home for [parental] marijuana use alone.”