Civil Liberties

Idaho Medical Marijuana Advocate Lindsey Rinehart Got Her Kids Back From the State





Lindsey Rinehart shared that message with Facebook friends on Friday. It was long overdue.

On April 23rd, the Boise-based medical marijuana advocate (and user–Rinehart has multiple sclerosis) had her kids put in foster care when Boise police searched Rinehart's home and found marijuana "in locations…accessible to the children"; the freezer and the bedroom Lindsey shared with husband Josh. 

Rinehart wasn't home that day. She, Josh, and their friend Sarah Caldwell had been on a hiking trip. Their sons and Caldwell's sons–ranging in age from 5 to 11–stayed at the Rinehart home with a babysitter.

The same day all three parents were slated to return from their hike, Boise police received a report from a local school that a friend of the Rineharts' oldest son had swallowed marijuana and become ill. The marijuana allegedly came from the Rineharts house. Police showed up to investigate, found the pot, and called Idaho Health and Welfare, which placed all four children in foster care. 

While Caldwell got her sons back just a few days later, the Rineharts spent a torturous two and a half weeks separated from Elijah, 5, and Laustin, 10. A week after their kids had been taken, Lindsey and Josh were allowed a single supervised visit. Then they were allowed to have the kids at home between the time they got out of school and 6 p.m., when they were returned to foster care. During those few weeks, Rinehart stopped treating her M.S. with medical marijuana. Early last week Rinehart announced she was willing to suffer "muscle spasms and 'sagging' around [the] right side of [her] mouth," if it meant getting the kids back. Friday, her boys came home. 

"ORDER TO VACATE!!! OUR BOYS ARE HOME!!!!!! OUR BOYS ARE HOME!!!! OUR BOYS ARE HOME!!! CASE DISMISSED!!!!!" Rinehart posted on Facebook. She's been deprived of a familiar and effective treatment for her M.S., and may still face criminal charges, but for the moment, her family's together.