Last weekend, the New Year rang in with smiles and tears of joy for an Oregon couple accused of child neglect over a legal medical marijuana harvest and a mother’s mental health. Kitrina’s daughter, Kaylynn, was returned home by Oregon Child Protective Services, the day before the Holiday weekend. The only reason Kaylynn was returned home was because Kitrina Nelson fired her court appointed public defender, Cole Sahleen. Like hundreds of other families who have told their stories to Health Impact News, Kitrina found that the court appointed attorney wanted her to play along while he made a pretense of advocating for her. Regardless of her limited knowledge of the law and court proceedings, and with a little guidance from the judge, who expressed surprise at the crowd of people that showed up to view the court proceedings, Kitrina successfully represented herself and cross examined her own case. After more than 3 hours of testimony and evidence, Judge Hung ruled that the state had no case against her, and that Kaylynn was to be returned home. Russ Belville documented the exuberance of emotion from the family upon hearing the ruling: "The sight of an average American family collapsing in each other’s arms weeping tears of joy for the return of their one-year-old daughter/cousin/granddaughter after 10 weeks of state captivity was the greatest holiday miracle I’ve ever experienced." Serra Frank reports: "Once again, I personally witnessed that an educated parent is the most powerful person in a courtroom!! Mama Bear roared and CPS ran around in circles! Justice and logic won the day...." Billy Fisher from the Fight for Lilly Foundation concluded: "Once a parent can see past the intimidation of the unknown in the court system, they can do anything. But it matters how you stand! I am so proud of Kitrina. She stood. She fought. She won. They have to Bring Kaylynn Home!"
Raymond and Amelia Schwab didn't know what to expect when they went into a Kansas courtroom on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. The Colorado couple has been fighting to get their children back since the Department for Children and Families (DCF) seized custody of them in April 2015. During that time, they have been told that their parental rights would be terminated, that their children would be returned home, and everything in between. It has been an emotional roller coaster, and 5 of their 6 children have been in foster care for more than 2 years. (Their oldest son was 19 when his younger siblings were taken and therefore avoided foster care.) Raymond Schwab, an honorably discharged Navy veteran, and his wife Amelia took to Facebook Live with an update for thousands of their followers, many of whom have been praying for their children to be returned to the family. The update was a mixture of good news and bad news - the children are supposed to be returned home, just not immediately. They were told that the children should be home by Christmas.
Two years ago, a woman with two children was celebrating her renewed life after cannabis oil had taken her out of her deathbed from terminal Crohn’s disease. She had undergone 16 surgeries and several toxic pharmaceuticals, one dangerously experimental. The doctors had finally given up. Shona Banda’s health had worsened until she was bedridden and “waiting to die,” until she started using cannabis oil. The results were miraculous. Shona Banda became a medical cannabis advocate in her home town of Garden City, an hour from the Colorado border, in a dangerous state, Kansas, for that type of activity. After surviving a terminal illness by using cannabis, she was arrested in 2015 and faced a potential sentencing of 30 years in prison. Her son was taken into custody by CPS. Her trial dragged on for two years before she survived the legal system by accepting a second plea deal arrangement earlier this month, August, 2017, despite her initial feeling that she could win the case.
Tennessee Dad Who Lost Children due to Medical Cannabis that Saved his Life Continues to Fight for Children’s Return Home
Michael Brooks is a Tennessee dad whose children were taken from him by Child Protective Services after he used medical cannabis to treat his Hepatitis C. After conventional medical treatments failed to cure his terminal Hepatitis C, he turned to medical cannabis and soon his Hepatitis C was in remission. But unfortunately, Tennessee DCS used his medical cannabis treatment as a reason to take away his children. His health deteriorated rapidly when he stopped using the treatment in the attempt to comply with requirements by Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) in order to get his children back. He was set to have his rights terminated last month, but his case was continued. Michael took to Facebook Live on June 26, 2017, to record a video for his followers, and it looks like things may be turning around for the Brooks family. His health has begun to improve and there is again hope of his getting visitation back. On Facebook Live, Michael said that he had been taking CBD oil, or cannabidiol oil and Moringa oil for the past two weeks. CBD oil is legal in all 50 states, as it contains almost no THC, the chemical that gets one "high." His body has responded so well that he has been able to throw away his other 20 medications. In the Facebook Live video, Michael Brooks said that he expects to go to court on July 19, and he is hopeful about getting visitation with his children back.
Vaccine Damaged Child Medically Kidnapped when Parents Refuse Toxic Chemicals and Choose Organic Foods
On May 19, 2017, 4-year-old Chase Walker-Stevens, a vaccine-injured child with severe cerebral palsy and epilepsy, was forcibly removed from his parents because they had chosen to wean their son off all pharmaceutical products and treat him holistically with organic food. In a video taken minutes after Chase was stolen, his father, Marc Stevens, wept as he told friends and supporters how police had stormed into the hospital, locked him into the bathroom and snatched Chase from his mother’s arms, before arresting her. During the distressing six-minute footage of events which has gone viral and has now been viewed over 3 million times, we can witness for ourselves how supporters of the family are pepper sprayed by the police as they watch the child’s mother, Cini, being dragged from the hospital kicking and screaming. Today, Chase is being looked after by complete strangers in another state, whilst his parents have been kept in the dark as to where their son is.
Terminally Ill Father Finds Cure in Cannabis Oil but Now on Death Bed After Complying with CPS to Get Children Back
For nearly three years, Michael Brooks of Northwestern Tennessee has been fighting for his children and for his life. Faced with terminal Hepatitis C, he finally found a treatment that saved his life and brought him into remission. However, Child Protective Services of Tennessee is using the very thing that brought him from the brink of death - cannabis oil - as grounds to take his children and place them into foster care. He has been forced to choose between staying in Tennessee and accelerate towards his death or leaving to continue treatment in Colorado and risk being accused of abandoning his children.
An Idaho mother has lost custody of her two children due to her state's strict laws regarding marijuana, where it is not legal even for medical purposes for physicians to prescribe. Kelsey Osborne, 23, has lost custody of her two young children, son Ryker and daughter Madyson aged two and three respectively, to state Child Protective Services (CPS). Both children were removed even though only Madyson was allegedly treated with cannabis during a horrific seizure episode. Her seizures were allegedly the result of withdrawal side effects from getting off of Risperdal, an anti-psychotic drug. Kelsey now faces the charge of “causing injury to a child.”
The hunger strike is over for Navy veteran dad Raymond Schwab, and a federal lawsuit has been filed against Kansas DCF for their role in kidnapping his children and holding them in state custody long past the time when the allegations against the parents were found to be unsubstantiated. But the battle is far from over. His children are not yet home, and thousands of children in Kansas and around the United States remain separated from their families without any evidence that the allegations are even legitimate. He fights for these children and others who are in the foster care system simply because a parent has used medical marijuana.
Attorneys Sarah Swain and Matthew Pappas have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the State of Kansas and its Department for Children and Families on behalf of cannabis oil activist and Crohn’s disease patient Shona Banda, whose 11-year-old son was taken by authorities in April of this year after he spoke out about his mother’s successful medical marijuana treatment during a public school anti-drug presentation.
About a dozen parents and medical marijuana activists gathered in the nation’s capital recently to share horror stories and advice on how to shield families from authorities who wield the power to take away their children. State marijuana laws are increasingly common in the U.S., but protections for parents who legally use the drug as medicine or administer it to their children are missing, panelists and audience members at the event said. Roughly half of states currently allow medical marijuana – four of them also allow legal recreational pot use – and a handful more allow use of cannabidiol (CBD), a compound thought to have medicinal benefits that doesn’t produce a high. Maria and Steve Green of Michigan, where residents approved a medical pot law in 2008, shared the well-reported story of officials taking away their 6-month-old daughter, Bree, in 2013. In California, the first state to set up a medical marijuana program in the 1990s, a couple sued in 2013 after their children were taken for a year because the father, a veteran, allegedly used the drug for medical purposes near them. Another California couple sued, alleging their son was sexually abused in foster care after he was taken from his San Diego home when a raid recovered pot his father says was grown for medicine.