Federal Agents Raid Native American Lands To Destroy Hemp Crop It Was Legal To Grow (VIDEO)

Native Americans generally get to deal with their own business on tribal lands. It’s a bit dicey, however, because tribal lands are sovereign lands even though they exist within the confines of the United States. Montana v U.S., was decided by the Supreme Court to clarify that Native American nations have power over their own internal affairs on tribal lands.

These facts make it all the more insane and irrational that undercover officers and drug agents invaded the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin to seize and destroy an industrial hemp crop of 30,000 marijuana plants.

Friday afternoon, Tribal Chairman Gary Besaw issued a statement accusing federal agencies of “improperly and unnecessarily” destroying the tribe’s crop. It was a “low THC, non-psychotropic” hemp grown to research hemp which is allowed under the Farm Bill Congress passed in 2013 and President Obama signed in 2014. The College of the Menominee Nation was evidently working with the tribe to find natural substitutes for both health and products that could be created from the hemp. All completely legal under the Farm Bill.

The statement from Besaw says:

“There has been disagreement between the Tribe and Acting U.S. Attorney Greg Haanstad as to whether the Tribe’s actions in cultivating its industrial hemp crop was in compliance with the 2014 Farm Bill. The Tribe has worked tirelessly to find a solution to this disagreement, including offering to destroy itself certain strains of the industrial hemp crop that both sides had identified as problematic and offering to file a Declaratory Judgment Action in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin to allow a federal judge to decide the disputed issues. These offers by the Tribe were rejected in favor of the aggressive unilateral action we saw today.”

Clearly the Drug Enforcement Administration hasn’t checked their email in the last year to see the latest and greatest of what the U.S. government is doing. Apparently neither has the federal judge in Green Bay who hasn’t read up on laws passed and signed in the last few years.

Another law calls into question whether warrants can be issued to seize “uniquely tribal property on tribal land.” It’s a violation of Native sovereignty as decided by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in Bishop Paiute Tribe v. County of Inyo.

The cops say that this was weed. The tribe says it was a hemp crop. The reality is – none of that matters. You’ve got Montana v. U.S. saying you can’t just intrude; the Farm Bill lets the program exist; and the Ninth Circuit says you can’t seize the hemp or weed. All of which means they fucked up, big time. The tribe says that it has no choice but to move forward with legal actions. Watch and see, folks, this will go to the Supreme Court and it might be the case that decides whether hemp or marijuana can be officially grown on tribal lands.

For anyone who knows the issues tribes are facing, the continuing battle for sovereignty is one of them. This is only going to deepen problems between tribes and the feds.

Feature image via video capture.