Medical Marijuana Advocate Gets Kids Back But Living 'In Constant Panic Attack'


Lindsey Rinehart is flanked by marijuana advocate Russ Belville (left) and Rinhearts husband Josh (right)
  • Andrew Crisp
  • Lindsey Rinehart is flanked by marijuana advocate Russ Belville (left) and Rinheart's husband Josh (right)

Lindsey Rinehart, the medical marijuana advocate who had her children taken into custody by the State of Idaho April 24, says her children have been returned to her family, but she's still scared over facing criminal charges.

"The CPS case was dismissed," Rinehart wrote on her Facebook page. "They were out of our care for 17 days. We never had to step foot into a court room. We worked very well with our social worker and our lawyer is amazing."

Rinheart said she was required to sign a so-called "safety plan" where she would stop using cannabis. Boise Weekly readers may remember Rinehart from her testimony at the Idaho State Capitol regarding medical medical marijuana. As director of Compassionate Idaho, Rinehart has helped spearhead a petition drive to legalize marijuana in Idaho. Rinehart has used marijuana to treat her own illness, multiple sclerosis, which she said can cause violent muscle spasms.

The Boise Police Department said they had been contacted by a a local school official who said that an 11-year-old child had become ill, requiring medical treatment from a school nurse. Police said the child had eaten a substance which was identified as marijuana. Police said the marijuana had come from a home on the 2900 block of W. Malad Street. The child who became ill did not live at the residence but is acquainted with the Rinheart's children.

Police said they went to the residence and found children, being cared for a babysitter while the parents were away. Police said they discovered drug paraphernalia and "a quantity of a substance that appeared to be marijuana in locations inside the house accessible to the children." Patrol officers contacted narcotics investigators who secured a search warrant signed by a judge. Police added that their investigation has not yet resulted in criminal charges.

Detectives made the decision to contact Idaho Department of Health and Welfare officials who deemed that the children were in "imminent danger," thereby putting the children into protective custody.

"I'm still living in a constant panic attack because of it," wrote Rinehart. "Most 'suspects' don't go in front of cameras and explain what happened and why. I really am not a criminal and my record reflects that as well. I really am a patient, and the records reflect that too. The medicine that was removed isn't what they are used to removing because it wasn't recreational.. So, I'm just in fear."

Rinheart wrote that she "will always pick my family over my medicine. That being said, my quality of life is quickly declining."