Menominee federal hemp suit hearing May 13

On May 13, a federal judge in Green Bay, Judge William Griesbach,  will hear arguments in the case, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin v Drug Enforcement Administration et al. The tribe filed suit against the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Dept. of Justice Nov. 18, 2015 after DEA agents seized 30,000 hemp plants being cultivated on tribal lands October 23, 2015.

The tribe is seeking a ruling that its industrial hemp cultivation program is legal under the federal 2014 Farm Bill. The federal government wants the suit thrown out. The May 13 hearing on motions to dismiss the case, and on a motion for summary judgment, is scheduled for two hours.

The Menominee and other Wisconsin tribes have previously voted to explore cannabis and hemp cultivation under the federal Cole Memo, issued by federal authorities in early 2014.

In related news, on April 20, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) introduced the Tribal Marijuana Sovereignty Act, which would prohibit federal agencies from considering a tribe’s marijuana policy when disbursing federal dollars to sovereign tribes.

“I strongly believe states should be allowed to enact their own marijuana laws, and have consistently supported attempts to ensure federal laws do not interfere with them,” Pocan said. “I’m also an ardent supporter of tribal sovereignty, which is why I introduced this bill forbidding the federal government from considering marijuana production, possession, or sale as an adverse factor when disbursing federal funds.”

Stay tuned to Cannabadger for updates on this and other stories at the intersection of Wisconsin and cannabis.

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