News & Politics

Police Raid Home of Medicinal Marijuana Multiple Sclerosis Patient, Throw Her Kids in Foster Care

The police investigated the activist on charges relating to marijuana trafficking, which she vehemently denies.

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Three prominent advocates for medical marijuana in Idaho had their children taken away last week after the police investigated them on charges relating to marijuana trafficking. Their sons were considered to be in “imminent danger” by law enforcement, and they were all taken away and put in foster case, local news outlet KTVBreports.

The activists are Lindsey and Josh Rinehart and Sarah Caldwell. All three of them are leaders in the group Compassionate Idaho, which advocates for the legalization of medical marijuana in Idaho. The activists were on a trip, but when they got back to the Rinehart residence, their sons were gone. While Caldwell’s two sons are back with her, the Rineharts’ sons remain in foster care.

“They took my children. Due to cannabis being present in the house,” said Lindsey Rinehart, the executive director of Compassionate Idaho. “They say their goal is to return our children to our home once it is deemed safe. They say our children will be in foster care for 30 days.”

A search warrant obtained by the news station states that the “home was being investigated for possible charges of marijuana trafficking, possession and injury to a child.” But Rinehart vehemently denies that she is trafficking.

It all started, according to the activists, at the elementary school their sons go to. Someone said cannabis was brought to the school and was eaten and then tossed around on a playground. The police then raided the Rinehart home, and took away all her marijuana, which she uses to treat Multiple Sclerosis. Now, her MS symptoms have begun to return, but she’s not using marijuana anymore.

“Even if I could access cannabis, which I can't, and won't because I'm cooperating with CPS, I want my children back. I'm going to have to go back on a whole bunch of really toxic medication,” Lindsey Rinehart told KTVB.

No charges have been filed yet, but the police working with prosecutors to see if charges will be filed in the future.

“We are going to work on getting our children back. And we are going to work on education. And we are going to work on getting medical marijuana laws in Idaho so this doesn't happen to any more people,” Rinehart vowed.


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Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.