On the steps of the state Capitol building Monday, Lindsey Rinehart said Boise police targeted her because she favors legalizing medical marijuana.
Rinehart, who said she uses marijuana to treat her multiple sclerosis, is a leading voice for Compassionate Idaho, a group working to relax Idaho's laws.
Officers removed Rinehart's sons, ages 5 and 10, from her custody because the boys were in danger, Boise police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said.
"It's a decision that's not made lightly. It's not made very often," Hightower said. "But it is the detectives' call."
According to Boise police, officers went to Rinehart's home after an 11-year-old at a local school reported being sick. The child had eaten marijuana, reportedly from Rinehart's home.
Because of their ongoing investigation, officers won't say whether they believe the students who brought the pot to school is one of Rinehart's children, Hightower said.
When officers arrived at Rinehart's house, they found four children, ages 5 to 11, under the care of a baby sitter, according to police. Rinehart and her husband, Josh, weren't home.
Police said the baby sitter allowed the officers to enter the house, where they "found drug paraphernalia, items commonly used to smoke marijuana and a quantity of a substance that appeared to be marijuana" within reach of the children.
Rinehart said she stopped using marijuana when her sons were taken. She said she won't use it again until she gets them back, even though she believes her health will deteriorate due to the "toxic stew of all sorts of medication" she'll be on.