Tribe loses bid to resume hemp growing in California after DEA seizure

A federal judge has rejected an effort by an American Indian tribe to resume growing hemp in Stockton, California.

The Winnemucca Shoshoni tribe had sued the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and San Joaquin County in October over the removal of 26 acres of hemp – a crop the tribe valued at $77 million.

The tribe also asked the judge for a court order overturning a recently approved county ban on industrial hemp growing.

But the judge has rejected the request, according to The (Stockton) Record, siding with county authorities that the Nevada-based tribe was falsely claiming an academic affiliation to appear compliant with federal law.

“This is clearly a business enterprise, not an educational or research institution,” the county argued.

California does not recognize the tribe’s academic partner, American States University, as an institution of higher education.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in 2014 that it would not prosecute federal laws regulating the growing or selling of marijuana on tribal lands, even in states where cannabis is illegal.

But tribes experimenting with hemp and marijuana have been periodically raided by federal drug authorities, with their legal challenges rebuffed.

Legal uncertainty over tribal authority to grow industrial hemp has led hemp activists to call for new language in the 2018 Farm Bill to specifically authorize tribal hemp production.

4 comments on “Tribe loses bid to resume hemp growing in California after DEA seizure
  1. William Clark on

    A little respect for history, please. No one should promote the canard that marijuana is dangerous–inherently toxic–like pharmaceutical drugs. Marijuana is not a ‘drug’, unless we lean heavily on Merriam-Webster’s third and broadest definition, as something that affects the mind. By that definition, religion and television (‘the plug-in drug’) should also be included. In truth marijuana is a medicinal herb, cultivated, bred, and evolved in service to human beings over thousands of years.

    “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting people to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, break up their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” –John Ehrlichman

    Activists have since found that some alcoholics are using marijuana to escape their addictions to The Demon Rum. Here prohibition of cannabis has been built on a tissue of lies: Concern For Public Safety. Our new laws save hundreds of lives every year, on our highways alone. In November of 2011, a study at the University of Colorado found that in the thirteen states that decriminalized marijuana between 1990 and 2009, traffic fatalities dropped by nearly nine percent—now nearly ten percent in Michigan—more than the national average, while sales of beer went flat by five percent. No wonder Big Alcohol opposes it. Ambitious, unprincipled, profit-driven undertakers might be tempted too.

    In 2012 a study released by 4AutoinsuranceQuote revealed that marijuana users are safer drivers than non-marijuana users, as “the only significant effect that marijuana has on operating a motor vehicle is slower driving”, which “is arguably a positive thing”.

    No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. It’s the most benign ‘substance’ in history. Most people—and particularly patients who medicate with marijuana–use it in place of prescription drugs or alcohol.

    Marijuana has many benefits, most of which are under-reported or never mentioned in American newspapers. Research at the University of Saskatchewan indicates that, unlike alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or Nancy (“Just say, ‘No!’”) Reagan’s beloved nicotine, marijuana is a neuroprotectant that actually encourages brain-cell growth. Researchers in Spain (the Guzman study) and other countries have discovered that it also has tumor-shrinking, anti-carcinogenic properties. These were confirmed by the 30-year Tashkin population study at UCLA.

    Drugs are man-made, cooked up in labs, for the sake of patents and the profits gained by them. Often useful, but typically burdened with cautionary notes and lists of side effects as long as one’s arm. ‘The works of Man are flawed.’

    Marijuana is a medicinal herb, the most benign and versatile in history. In 1936 Sula Benet, a Polish anthropologist, traced the history of the word “marijuana”. It was “cannabis” in Latin, and “kanah bosm” in the old Greek and Hebrew scrolls, quite literally the Biblical Tree of Life, used by early Christians to treat everything from skin diseases to deep pain and despair. Why despair? Consider the current medical term for cannabis sativa: a “mood elevator”. . . as opposed to antidepressants, which ‘flatten out’ emotions, leaving patients numb to both depression and joy.

    The very name, “Christ” translates as “the anointed one”. Well then, anointed with what? It’s a fair question. And it wasn’t holy water, friends. Holy water came into wide use in the Middle Ages. In Biblical times, it was used by a few tribes of Greek pagans. And Christ was neither Greek nor pagan.

    Medicinal oil, for the Prince of Peace. A formula from the Biblical era has been rediscovered. It specifies a strong dose of oil from kanah bosom, ‘the fragrant cane’ of a dozen uses: ink, paper, rope, nutrition. . . . It was clothing on their backs and incense in their temples. And a ‘skinful’ of medicinal oil could certainly calm one’s nerves, imparting a sense of benevolence and connection with all living things. No wonder that the ‘anointed one’ could gain a spark, an insight, a sense of the divine, and the confidence to convey those feelings to friends and neighbors.

    Don’t want it in your neighborhood? Maybe you’re not the Christian you thought you were.

    Me? I’m appalled at the number of ‘Christian’ politicians, prosecutors, and police who pose on church steps or kneeling in prayer on their campaign trails, but cannot or will not face the scientific or the historical truths about cannabis, Medicinal Herb Number One, safe and effective for thousands of years, and celebrated as sacraments by most of the world’s major religions.

  2. John Worthington on

    Did they create a tribal resolution that they were going to grow hemp?

    Did they hire tribal employees to grow the hemp or did they contract out the job

    Did they cite the protection of 885 D

  3. Dan Watson on

    Well this is just another example of our disfunctional government. Hemp is not marijuana, but because it looks like it, it’s illegal. And, oh my God!, The Indians were conducting a business?? We can’t have that! I don’t know how much longer we can take this shit in this country.
    And that inbred Hillbilly Jeff Sessions has to go! The Feds say they won’t conduct raids. but then they do. I love this country, but it is not free. The DEA has lost the drug war to the cartels, so they shove the Indians around. Real Heroes. Hey Sessions, Why don’t you take your brave boys down to Columbia and fight it out with the Cartels and stop the Cocaine from entering this country?

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