Federal government files motion to dismiss Menominee hemp lawsuit

Green Bay’s Fox11 News reports that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and United States Department of Justice (DOJ) have filed a response to the federal lawsuit filed by the Menominee Nation over the destruction of the tribe’s industrial hemp crop in late 2015.

The federal filing requesting dismissal includes this statement, “Should the Court nevertheless proceed to the merits of Plaintiff’s claims, dismissal is still warranted because Plaintiff’s assertions that the term “State” in the Industrial Hemp Research Statute includes Indian tribes, and that the State of Wisconsin has “allowed” hemp cultivation on the Menominee Reservation, are contradicted by the plain language of the Statute.

The Shawano Leader included this in an article, “Without distinguishing between hemp and other forms of cannabis, federal attorneys responded to the lawsuit Wednesday by arguing that Indian tribes are subject to the same state and federal restrictions on hemp production as any other private concern. There is no question that the federal government can regulate hemp cultivation on tribal land.

AB215, bipartisan legislation which would legalize hemp cultivation in Wisconsin and open the door for state tribes to do the same remains buried in the Committee on State Affairs and Government Operations. The chairman, Rob Swearingen, has ignored two letters from the bill’s sponsor, Dave Considine, to hold a public hearing.

The tribe has not yet responded to the federal government’s brief, and no hearings are currently scheduled in the case.

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