Andy Craig: Obama administration’s attack on Menominee Tribe demands immediate firings



DEA agents on Friday invaded the territory of the Menominee Tribal Reservation in Wisconsin in order to seize and destroy hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of legal industrial hemp crops, on the claim that some of the plants tested for an unacceptably high amount of THC. Andy Craig, Libertarian candidate for Congress in Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District (Milwaukee) issued the following statement in response to the shocking news:

This crop of industrial hemp was being grown in compliance with federal law, under a provision of the 2014 Farm Bill that explicitly authorized it. Congress has passed a law prohibiting the expenditure of federal funds to interfere with cannabis legalization efforts at the state and local level. President Obama campaigned on a pledge to not do exactly what he has just done to the Menominee Tribe, and the Department of Justice has itself affirmed that sovereign tribal governments have as much right to change their laws as sovereign state governments.

The absurd pretense offered by the DEA- that 30,000 hemp plants spread out over 20 acres was in fact potent smokable marijuana- would be no justification even if it was true. The members of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin recently voted to move forward with legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, and this raid was clearly launched by vindictive DEA agents and a federal prosecutor who think it is their right to wreak havoc and harm on one of the poorest counties in the nation for voting the ‘wrong’ way.

The Menominee Tribe were in ongoing open negotiations with the DEA over the dispute, and had offered to submit the matter to a federal judge for a decision. Instead of allowing the legal process to work, these petty vandals funded with our tax dollars decided to live out their war fantasies with a militarized show of force and reckless destruction.

The DEA’s actions are lawless, inexcusable, and make even clearer what was already obvious: this Nixon-era abomination of an agency should be abolished, and the futile policy of prohibition should be repealed.

There is only one acceptable response to this travesty: Acting U.S. Attorney Greg Haanstad and DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, should both be immediately removed from office. The Menominee Tribe should be fully and promptly compensated for the substantial losses inflicted on them. And President Obama should finally appoint a DEA Administrator who, if not possessing basic human decency, is at least willing to follow existing law and his own stated policies.


Related at IPR:
Wisconsin Libertarians applaud Menominee marijuana legalization vote
Libertarians to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: Take the Deal


20 thoughts on “Andy Craig: Obama administration’s attack on Menominee Tribe demands immediate firings

  1. Bondurant

    The DEA serves no legitimate purpose. It’s another sad sack excuse for the government to steal our money while claiming it’s for our own good.

  2. paulie

    LOL, didn’t know Bondurant had a shorter variant. And I hope no one here disagrees; of course they should be abolished, yesterday.

  3. paulie

    I’m actually more with Hilgenberg on that one, but I use it anyway, as I don’t have the patience to think of alternatives at many times. And in this case it seemed appropriate.

  4. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I wasn’t aware that Hilgenberg had a differing opinion. Repeal is a synonym most times.

  5. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I searched and found that article on Hilgenberg’s opinion. I would disagree with that, but it was an interesting read. In most instances, “replace” would not be accurate. I remain steadfast so far in my love of abolish.

  6. Caryn Ann Harlos

    But he is right that more positive words should be used in area when we can. We shouldn’t just say what we are against, but what we are for, absolutely true. I though wouldn’t want to abolish abolish:) But a more even mix with what we want instead is a very good tactic.

  7. paulie

    I’m not sure what I would replace the DEA with. Voluntarily financed education, I guess. Underwriters Labs style quality control. Services akin to yelp, trip advisor (heh), etc. Civic organizations that promote communities and families and mutual self help of all sorts, all voluntarily financed and with no more rights or powers than individuals have. But “enforcement” is right in the name, and I don’t want to replace that at all. I want to, well, abolish it.

    For reference – has the argument from Hilgenberg and Scribner. It cites Marshall Fritz, although I’m not familiar off hand with his opinion piece(s) about it – most likely pre-web, and if they have been put on the web since then I don’t remember seeing it.

  8. Caryn Ann Harlos


    Yes I had found that after my first post and read it with partial agreement on messaging… but not full.

    I have a philosophical objection to using replace in the context as we are talking about things that “must” be done… i.e. this is a state forced thing (whatever the thing is we are talking about) and one cannot dictate voluntary things. We could say that we believe the free market would serve this function, but we are basically saying replace control with freedom and that is already a given when you “abolish” a control.

    I do not believe in playing nice with control.

    But I also agree, on the other hand, we need to speak positives not just negatives that is just basic marketing and messaging, but I do see a powerful purpose to the militant negative word of “abolish” in delegitimizing control.

  9. steve m


    “’m not sure what I would replace the DEA with.”

    I vote for replacing the DEA with nothing. Their employees should be layed off and encouraged to learn new skills to enter the private marketplace. They know this…. They dream of this…

    I have had a decently long conversation with one of them… they know the drug war is a lost war… they want new skills and new jobs.

  10. Andy

    “steve m

    October 26, 2015 at 12:39 am


    ‘’m not sure what I would replace the DEA with.’

    I vote for replacing the DEA with nothing. Their employees should be layed off and encouraged to learn new skills to enter the private marketplace. They know this…. They dream of this…”

    Here’s an idea I had that MIGHT win some government employees over to our side. What if we paid them off to quit their jobs?

    This is what could be done. Do an analysis of how much each government agency is worth (at least as close as possible). Figure out what each government employee gets paid, and how much of a retirement package they have. Then come up with a proposal where you say, “We Libertarians want to get elected so we can shut ________ (insert name of government agency) down.” If we are able to do this, we will offer a lucrative lump sum payment severance package to each government employee. The severance package would be based on a variety of factors, such as how much they make, how much they are projected to get for retirement, etc…

    Let’s say that you offered a government employee a lump sum payment of $500,000, or maybe even $1 million, to quit their jobs, under the condition that the agency that they work for has to be shut down.

    I’d prefer it if the payments could be made simply by liquidating the assets of the agency, but heck, it might even be worth it to continue to pay taxes for a couple of year to pay off all of the employees to quit, if the agency was permanently shut down.

    I wonder how many government employees we could win to our side if such a plan were put forth. I would think that getting a big lump sum payment for quitting a government job would entice at least some of them to support us. Just imagine if you worked at say the Department of Motor Vehicles, and you could walk away with say a check for $500,000 if you quit and if the DMV was shut down.

  11. paulie

    Caryn is correct.

    It also doesn’t address their non above board income that they receive not as part of their salary but by virtue of their position for agencies such as DEA, or the feeling of power it gives them, the weight they get to throw around, the sexual intimidation and fetish opportunities, the greater difficulties of working in the private world where bottom line pressures are a real thing, and other intangibles.

  12. Deran

    I hope the tribe takes the DEA to federal court over this. Not only re their lost crop, but also to strengthen tribal sovereignty.

    I would worry that once the DEA is abolished most of them will go to work as mercenaries. Fighting for the Saudis in Yemen or Syria, for instance.

  13. Andy Craig Post author


    It is not, generally speaking, illegal for American citizens to fight in the employ of a non-hostile foreign government. Whether that’s as a “mercenary” or as a regular member of their military (cf. the Foreign Legion, Flying Tigers, IDF, etc.)

    That isn’t something I’d generally advise anybody to do, but if an American wants to provide military or security services abroad and doesn’t otherwise implicate American jurisdiction (e.g. piracy, terrorism, war crimes), then I wouldn’t try to outlaw or forbid it. It’d be more legitimate than what the DEA is currently doing.


    @pauli, Caryn

    Interesting discussion of the word “abolish,” but my reasoning is simpler than all that. I like “abolish” because I like abolitionists.

    I also generally agree it’s better to stay positive and offer alternatives, but sometimes some simple outrage and “just stop doing that!” is what’s called for.

  14. Deran

    Hired guns are hired guns. Wether working for the DEA or as mercenaries, which is what freelancers fighting for money, rather than for national service or ideology (Use a dictionary. But you can call them anything you like.) I would separate mercs from say those who went to Spain to fight Fascism. For instance. Or the Flying Tigers, but from ehat I’ve read the FT had plenty of unofficial US support.

    Like this. Except these mercs are Colombians. The article mentions ex soldiers, but Colombia is awash in men trained by the US to fight the “drug war” there, and I’ll bet some of these mercs are ex drug cops.

  15. Andy

    “Caryn Ann Harlos

    October 26, 2015 at 6:57 am

    What is to stop the state from just starting it back up?”

    The severance package could be contingent upon the government agency being permanently shut down. Perhaps some of the money could be placed into an account and payments could be doled out each year, but if the agency is brought back, the former government employee loses that part of the severance package. This way former government employees would have an incentive in making sure that the government program does not come back.

    Also, keep in mind that bringing back a government agency after it has been shut down would not be easy.

    This could potentially win at least some government employees over to our side. Maybe not all of them, but it got even a few of them to support us because of this that would be more supporters than we have now.

    I’d be willing to bet that a lot of government employees would be willing to quit their job if they could walk away with a big severance package.

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