Mom who lost kids because of pot: 'I am not a criminal'

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Lindsey Rinehart is upset after police took her children away.

"We are just heartbroken," Rinehart said.

The incident began at Whitney Elementary. That's where the Rineharts say one of their sons was accused of having marijuana on the play ground.

"Our son says he didn't do it and we believe him," she said.

The family says the playground incident led to police to do a welfare check at the Rinehart home. The couple was out of town camping and the kids were home with a babysitter.

During the check, the Rineharts say police got a search warrant and found Lindsey's marijuana, which she says she uses to treat for her multiple sclerosis.

"We are accused of felony possession because I needed medicine but we weren't endangering our children," she said.

Sarah Caldwell was camping with the Rineharts and she says her two sons were also taken by police. But she got them back because they don't live in the home.

"My kids are definitely traumatized," Caldwell said. "My 6-year-old is autistic and he doesn't understand what is going on."

Boise Police says it only started the investigation when a child, who got marijuana from another child staying at the home, ate marijuana.

Officers say when they searched the house, they found pot in several places where children could get to it.

Lindsey says she is no longer using marijuana and her MS symptoms have returned. But she says she will do what it takes to get her kids back.

"This should not happen to anybody," she says. "Nobody should have their babies ripped away from them for having a non-toxic medicine in their home and the only way to change this is to show how devastating it is."

The Rineharts say the kids will remain in foster care for at least 30 days.

"I am not a criminal, I am a patient," she said.

No charges have been filed.