A lawsuit has been filed by the Menominee Nation of Wisconsin against two federal agencies over the tribe’s hemp growing operation. Federal drug agents raided a field on the tribe’s reservation near Suring last month. Tribal officials say the raid destroyed industrial hemp plants. The Drug Enforcement Agency contends that they seized 30,000 high-grade marijuana plants. DEA and Department of Justice agents participated in the October 23rd operation.

According to the lawsuit, tribal officials argue the 2014 federal farm bill gives them the right to grow hemp, which can be used to make products such as textiles, foods, paper, body care products and building materials. Hemp grown for industrial use generally has too little THC – the psychoactive component of marijuana – to be used as an illicit drug.

“The Menominee Tribe, in cooperation with the College of Menominee Nation, should have the right under the Farm Bill to cultivate industrial hemp in the same manner as Kentucky, Colorado, and other states,” tribal chairman Gary Besaw said in a statement. “These and other states cultivate industrial hemp without threats or interference from the United States government.”

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