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DEA Releases Statement About Destroying Menominee Tribe Hemp Crop

On Sunday, October 25, CBS 58 received a statement from the Department of Justice in response to allegations the DEA destroyed a hemp crop on Menominee land. 

The statement confirmed that a federal search warrant was issued for property located on the Menominee Indian Tribal lands on Thursday. The warrant authorized the search of a dwelling; outbuilding and land totaling approximately 20 acres. The investigation into the marijuana fields revealed that individuals other than Menominee Tribe Members planted and were tending to the marijuana plants located on tribal land.

On Friday, October 23 DEA agents and other Wisconsin law enforcement officers executed the federal search warrants and seized approximately 30,000 marijuana plants weighing over several thousand pounds. 

In a statement released to CBS 58, Chairman Besaw of the Menominee Tribe said, "We were attempting to grow industrial hemp for research purposes in accordance with the farm bill. We offered to take any differences in the interpretation of the farm bill to federal court. Instead, the Obama administration sent agents to destroy our crop while allowing recreational marijuana in Colorado."

RELATED STORY: Menominee Tribe's Hemp Crop Destroyed by DEA Agents

In May 2015, the Menominee Tribe had legalized the growing of low THC non-psychotropic industrial hemp by Tribal licenses on its land. 

In 2014, Congress had passed a Farm Bill which recognized a distinction between marijuana and industrial hemp that created an exemption to the Controlled Substance Act to allow for growth, cultivation and the study of industrial hemp in certain circumstances. 

The hemp crop was intended to be a legal crop allowed by the Farm Bill, according to the statement. 

No arrests were made during the seizure and the investigation is ongoing according to the DOJ.

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