The Menominee Tribe is asking a federal court for a summary judgement to declare its industrial hemp growing operation legal.
The request comes in response to the federal government’s motion seeking the lawsuit from the tribe to be tossed.
Last November, the Menominee Tribe sued the Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Justice over a raid that destroyed the hemp being grown on tribal land in October.
The tribe contends it was growing hemp for research purposes legally under the federal 2014 Farm Bill.
However, after the raid, the DEA reported it confiscated 30,000 high-grade marijuana plants.
The difference between marijuana and industrial hemp is THC level. Industrial hemp has a lower THC level, preventing anyone from getting a high from it. It’s used in things like clothes and building materials.
“This is a straightforward legal question regarding the interpretation of federal law and we believe the Court will decide this matter expediently. We are confident that the Farm Bill provisions require the federal government to recognize the Menominee Nation’s rights to cultivate industrial hemp,” Menominee Chairwoman Joan Delabreau said in a statement.