Thursday, May 25, 2006

Native American Farmers Cannot Cultivate Hemp Without DEA Registration

United States v. White Plume, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 12090 (8th Cir. 2006)

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council passed an ordinance which criminalized production of marijuana. The ordinance was amended to exclude from the definition of marijuana a crop containing less than 1 per cent THC. The tribe was aware that the US DEA took the position that manufacture of industrial hemp required a DEA certificate of exemption.

Subsequently, White Plume raised a crop of industrial hemp on federal trust land which the government destroyed. In 2002, White Plume again raised a crop of industrial hemp and again, the government destroyed it and the district court enjoined the defendant from further production without a certificate of exemption.

The Court of Appeals held that the Controlled Substances Act required that the defendant submit to registration, and also found that the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868, which addressed native american farmers did not preserve any right to grow industrial hemp.


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