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DOJ asks judge to dismiss Menominee Nation hemp grow lawsuit

Menominee Nation Chairman Gary Besaw speaks at a rally at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison in February 2015. Photo from Menominee Nation News / Facebook

The Menominee Nation of Wisconsin does not have a right to grow hemp, attorneys for the Obama administration told a federal judge.

The 2014 Farm Bill allows higher-education institutions to cultivate the plant in states where it is legal. But the Department of Justice claims the law does not apply to the Menominee Nation because the tribe is not a "state."

"If Congress had intended the term 'state” to have other than its plain meaning, it could have specified as much in that definition," government attorneys wrote in a brief that was posted by WLUK-TV.

The tribe partnered with the College of the Menominee Nation to grow hemp. Federal agents raided the operation last October even though field tests appeared to confirm that the tribe was not cultivating marijuana, a relative of hemp.

Get the Story:
Feds respond to tribe's suit on hemp operation (WLUK 1/20)

Relevant Documents:
Department of Justice Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country (October 2014)

Related Stories:
Menominee Nation asserts right to grow hemp in new lawsuit (11/18)
Hilary Bricken: DOJ sending mixed signals on tribal marijuana (11/17)
BIA looked for hemp while Menominee Nation chair was at NCAI (10/27)
Menominee Nation slams DEA raid of industrial hemp operation (10/26)
Menominee Nation supports marijuana in advisory referendum (08/21)
Menominee Nation prepares for referendum on legal marijuana (08/17)
Menominee Nation schedules referendum on legal marijuana (07/14)

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