Gulf War veteran sues San Diego after medical marijuana bust leads to lost custody of children

man smoking joint hbtv hemp beach tvA Gulf War veteran and his wife claim San Diego County senselessly cracked down on his use of medical marijuana by taking their two young children for one year. “As a result, they (the children) were deprived of regular, open, and free contact and companionship of family and friends, including their parents,” the couple states in a complaint against the county.

Michael Lewis says he was exposed to chemical weapons during the war that left him with incapacitating migraines, so he sought a medical marijuana prescription to alleviate the pain — never thinking it would cost him his kids. Lewis and his wife Lauren Taylor are suing San Diego County, seven of its officers, the City of Coronado and two of its officers for civil rights violations, battery, false imprisonment and negligence, the Courthouse News Service reports.

They seek punitive damages. On Aug. 5, 2011, city police received an anonymous tip that the couple was operating a secret daycare center and smoking pot near children, the lawsuit claims.

The couple says they allowed officers to enter and photograph their home to show them that they did not operate an illegal babysitting service. The only “hazard” officers uncovered was the marijuana but Lewis provided his prescription, according to the family.
The family man insists he never exposed the cannabis to his children Cameran, 4, and Bailey Lewis, 2.

“Neither Lewis nor Taylor were ever criminally prosecuted for the possession and/or use of the marijuana,” their complaint reads. Several officers allegedly returned to the home three days later to take the couple’s kids from their care, according to the Courthouse News Service. “Defendants then deposited the children at the Polinsky Center, an emergency shelter for allegedly abused and neglected children in San Diego County,” according to the complaint. The officers allegedly lied to the court, claiming that Lewis was a substance abuser who forges records, a drug dealer and a serious threat to the welfare of his children.

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