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obvious: this Nixon-era abomination of an agency should be abolished, and the futile policy of prohibition should be repealed.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.