For Gulf War veteran Raymond Schwab, medical marijuana is the only thing that’s been able to help him deal with his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. People tend to overlook the positive, therapeutic benefit that medical marijuana has on mental disorders like PTSD, none more so than the state of Kansas.
Kansas told Schwab, who uses homemade cannabis butter for his conditions, that five of his children were being taken into protective care on suspicion of child endangerment because he’s using medical marijuana. Schwab has been quoted as saying:
“People who don’t understand the medical value of cannabis are tearing my family apart.”
According to Schwab, his mental health issues went undiagnosed for years and led to alcoholism and substance abuse problems. However, he’s been sober since successfully exiting rehab in 2011.
Schwab was also arranging for his job at the Department of Veteran Affairs to be transferred to Colorado where he could legally grow his own cannabis and work with other veterans, like him, using medical marijuana for similar conditions. Before he could orchestrate the move, Kansas intervened.
One of his relatives, who had agreed to watch his children while he got everything in motion, told police that he had abandoned his children to go work for a pot farm in Colorado. Since that day, Schwab has only been able to see his children three times, despite the fact that the allegations were found to be unsubstantiated. He’s still fighting to get them back from state custody.
This is why education and understanding about medical marijuana are so important: it’s possible that this entire situation could have been avoided. Other states, like Oregon, have made it a priority to enable veteran access medical marijuana, and the US Senate Appropriations Committee voted to allow veterans to get medical marijuana in legalized states.
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