Couple Fighting For Custody Of 5 Kids Gets Help From Medical Pot Advocates
By Jeff Todd
DENVER (CBS4) - A Colorado couple says they're almost out of options to get their five children back in their custody.
"My wife and I determined we would move back to Colorado where we would receive safe access to care, mainly medical cannabis," said Raymond Schwab. "Due to a family incident that occurred some people had custody of our kids and wouldn't return them and now the state of Kansas seized them. Initially, some of the reports were to inhibit us from moving to Colorado to receive medical cannabis."
Raymond, who is a Colorado native, moved to Kansas to get a job with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He says he wanted to move back so he could start using medical marijuana to treat his PTSD, which he says he has from serving in the Navy during the Gulf War.
The Schwabs have fought for more than two years to try to get their children back.
The Schwabs have taken their case to court and lost, based off of information from the Kansas Department of Children and Families that the Schwabs say is false and unsubstantiated.
"Every step that we take we're retaliated against lied about, attacked in the courts, and they keep shifting the goal post and making excuses of why our kids can't come home to Colorado," Raymond said.
Amelia Schwab said the hardest part of the process has been, "Just how much I miss my kids and the hopelessness that I feel that I can't protect them."
"We're not even allowed to call them on birthdays, they don't even give us a reason why, no visits, nothing," said Raymond.
With just three weeks until a parental termination hearing, the Schwabs are finally getting legal help from some of the best medical marijuana advocacy attorneys in the country.
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"When I look at something like this I'm just saying this is disgusting, this is inhumane," said attorney Michael Minardi. "That's why we have a team, to go in and show the court this is unreasonable, these people should be able to move back, get access to their children and continue to build their community and their family."
"Give me my kids, it's time for my kids to come home," said Raymond.
The Kansas Department for Children and Families issued this statement to CBS4: "Although we cannot discuss specific cases, the Kansas Department for Children and Families does not remove children from their homes because of parental marijuana use. It is always our goal to keep families together, if that is a safe option."
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he's been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.
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