Raymond Schwab, an honorably discharged veteran, moved to Colorado for its legal medical marijuana when no other treatments for his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) would work. He left his family in Kansas, not knowing he wouldn’t be able to see his children.

“They’re basically using my kids as a pawn to take away freedoms I fought for,” he told the Denver Post. “It’s a horrible position to put me in.”

He and his wife, Amelia, say Kansas took the five youngest of their six children into custody last April. They’ve only seen them three times since then.

The 40-year-old served in the Navy for two years. He qualified for a 50 percent disability rating. He says he tried treating his PTSD with medications prescribed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, including muscle relaxants and anti-anxiety drugs, but they made things worse.

Schwab developed a heroin addiction but managed to overcome that with the help of marijuana therapy.

After a family squabble, Schwab’s mother-in-law reported him to the police, triggering the action. She says she now regrets doing that. But, the damage has been done. Child-protective workers and a Kansas judge are demanding he stop using cannabis to get the children back.

He fears his condition will worsen if he stops.

Navy veteran loses custody of his kids and it’s all because of the medication he takes for PTSD Screenshot/Denver Post
Yolanda R. Arrington is a content editor for Rare. Tweet her @iamyolanda and like her on Facebook.
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