Lindsey and Josh Rinehart and Sarah Caldwell, three of Idaho's most outspoken medical marijuana advocates, returned from a trip last week to find that their children had been turned over to Child Protective Services. They were quickly informed that authorities had raided the Rineharts' house, where the four boys had been left with a babysitter, on suspicion of marijuana trafficking, possession and injury to a child, the activists told KTVB last week.
"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," Lindsey Rinehart said during a KTVB segment. While she's denied that the children were in any sort of danger and said the marijuana was only for personal treatment, Rinehart has expressed concern that her boys could be held for longer. The two children belonging to Caldwell have reportedly been returned.
Lindsey Rinehart uses medical marijuana to help treat her multiple sclerosis, and the trio has been publicly involved in Compassionate Idaho, a group seeking to kickstart Idaho's marijuana reform movement. Many of Idaho's neighbors have already made strides to loosen marijuana laws, but some Idaho GOP lawmakers have been quick to announce that they'll resist similar efforts in their state.
Now faced with a decision to continue marijuana treatment or risk losing her children for longer, Rinehart has said she'll drop pot and turn to the more traditional, "toxic medication" that her doctors offer.
The Rineharts and Caldwell are expected to address the latest development in their case in a press conference on Monday. While official charges still haven't been filed, a fund has been set up to help the trio handle any legal bills that may emerge in their fight to get their children back.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed Compassionate Idaho as Compassion Idaho.