Raymond Schwab, an honorably discharged Gulf War veteran, planned to move from Kansas to Colorado in 2015 so he could take a new job -- and legally use medical marijuana to treat his chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the State of Kansas took away his kids before the move (video below).
"They're basically using my kids as a pawn to take away freedoms I fought for," Raymond told The Denver Post. "It's a horrible position to put me in."
Raymond and his wife, Amelia, say Kansas officials took their five youngest children (ages 5 to 16) of six in April 2015. The Schwabs were packing up to leave for Colorado when Amelia's mother took their children to a police station and accused the couple of being unfit parents -- which she now regrets, according to the couple.
An investigation by Kansas officials into alleged emotional child abuse by the Schwabs found nothing, but the state will not return the kids.
Child protective services and a judge demanded that Raymond give up medical marijuana and pass four months of urinalysis tests to get his children back.
Kansas child welfare officials would not comment, but Amelia told the newspaper, "I don't think what we're doing is illegal, immoral or wrong."
Before trying medical marijuana, Raymond was prescribed numerous medications by the VA, but the prescription painkillers, muscle relaxants and anti-anxiety pills didn't help.
"They were making me crazy," he said. "They made me worse."
Raymond then became addicted to heroin, but was able to get off the drug with medical marijuana therapy.
In Colorado, recreational and medical use of marijuana is legal, but both are banned in Kansas, according to RT.