In April 2015, Raymond Schwab and his wife Amelia had their five children taken from them. The reason? A family member with whom the children were staying told law enforcement that Raymond and Amelia had abandoned their children to go to work on a pot farm in Colorado.
Despite what this family member said, Raw Story reports that the actual situation is a bit more complicated.
Raymond Schwab is a Navy veteran who served in the Gulf War. For him, the only effective treatment for his post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is cannabis. Before the use of marijuana for his PTSD and chronic pain, Schwab was subject to a barrage of other medications that had much more severe physical side effects.
Schwab reports that he was prescribed a variety of sedatives, antidepressants, and chronic pain medication, the combination of which made him feel worse. He also became addicted to pain medication and developed a heroin addiction, presumably when access to that pain medication was cut off.
Schwab had made arrangements for his job at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs to move him to Colorado, where he could legally grow his own marijuana and work with other veterans who use the plant for medicinal purposes. Schwab and his wife took a trip to Colorado in April to make arrangements for the move, and during this process left their children in the care of relatives. This is when the relative discussed above reported the couple.
Clearly, there is much more to the story, as the Schwab children were not abandoned so that their parents could further pursue their drug addiction, as their relative implies. However, since April of last year, Raymond Schwab has only seen his children three times.
Schwab recently took to the Kansas state senate committee when they were considering a bill meant to lower criminal penalties for marijuana possession and allow the medicinal use of hemp oil. During his testimony, he pleaded with the committee, “give me back my children.”
Schwab has plans to sue the state of Kansas after he regains custody of his children. He says, “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.”
Watch a video of Schwab’s testimony below, courtesy of Michael Shatz via YouTube.
Featured image via Raw Story