Hemp lawsuit: Menominee Tribe suing feds in fight to grow crop after raid

MILWAUKEE — The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin has sued the U.S. Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Agency over the right to grow industrial hemp — a crop related to marijuana — on reservation lands.

Tribal Chairman Gary Besaw says the Menominee should have the same ability as states to cultivate hemp under the Agricultural Act of 2014.

The legislation recognizes a distinction between marijuana and hemp, which can be used to manufacture a range of products and has no psychoactive effect.

The tribe says it had established a hemp crop and that it was wrongfully destroyed last month in a raid that included federal authorities.

Acting U.S. Attorney Gregory Haanstad has said the crop was more than just hemp and that agents seized about 30,000 marijuana plants.

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