Tribe sues DEA, California county for removal of 26-acre hemp crop

A Native American tribe based in Nevada is suing the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration over the seizure of a 26-acre hemp crop growing in California.

The Winnemucca Indian Colony of Nevada – a federally recognized tribe of Western Shoshone and Northern Paiute Indians in northwestern Nevada – is also suing officials in San Joaquin County, California, where the grow was located, according to TV station KCRA.

The tribe wants a temporary restraining order, return of the plants and a declaration that a San Joaquin County ordinance banning the grow is unlawful, the Sacramento-based station reported.

The Winnemucca tribe rented the property in Stockton and contracted a California marijuana producer, SG Farms, to grow industrial hemp for research purposes.

San Joaquin County told the tribe in August that its research claim was not enough to establish its ability to grow hemp in the county. California allows hemp growing, but only under the auspices of a state-approved university research program.

On Oct. 10, the DEA and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office seized the plants.

The California hemp case is the latest example of ongoing legal uncertainty facing Indian tribes and hemp.

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. Other tribes, however, have found success growing hemp in conjunction with state hemp programs.

4 comments on “Tribe sues DEA, California county for removal of 26-acre hemp crop
  1. Brandon on

    ridiculous that the taxpayer-funded DRUG authorities are eradicating NON-drug HEMP fields in 2017. priorities? efficient use of resources? Doesn’t even make sense why hemp remains illegal to grow; not one logical reason.

  2. Greg B on

    Hemp is not a drug and it is not marijuana but the Feds will destroy crops and products made with American Farmer Grown Industrial Hemp, and they will reward Chinese and Canadian Farmers! Political party makes no difference, both parties have been going against the will of the people for over 50 years, it is absolutely insane.
    Help us pass HR 3530 to Legalize Industrial Hemp. The USA will import almost a Billion Dollars worth of Hemp Health Food products from China and Canada and enrich and create many jobs in foreign countries, but they will threaten to jail and arrest American Farmers for growing a plant that is not a drug and is not marijuana. Hemp has the potential to House you, Heal you, Feed you and Clothe you. if the politicians would vote the will of the people that elected them.
    Sign our petition to pass HR 3530, here is the link:

  3. George Bianchini on

    Dear Sheriff,
    UC Davis is very close to San Joaquin, who will protect the children from this horrifying weed. Just the thought of all those spiders and molds and mites invading the County is just more than I can cope with. You must eradicate this evil Hemp. I mean bring in the D6 mega tractors and rip it out. This must be some kind of clear and present danger for your residents.
    You must stop this activity, Just think how the cows will be affected by the terrible odder. You might want to take off your $1000 suit as it might get ruined by weed odder.
    Just the thought of all those spiders and molds and mites must keep you up at night.

    You know I’m starting to see a movie script in this. we’ve got dead bodies, 500 acres of Cannabis, police corruption, inept civic leaders, 52,000 lbs of missing evidence, and possibly a R.I.C.O. case. Wow, all the right stuff.
    We will add the spiders and molds and mites

  4. George Bianchini on

    Your Sheriff, County legal staff and Ag Commissioner have outright lied to the Board about our Industrial Hemp farm. This has led to a massive financial loss to the many families involved. On top of that the 52,000lbs of confiscated Hemp worth millions, which were evidence, has amazingly disappeared. Deja vu anyone. I would guess that from others that I have talked to (I am not a resident of S.J.) that this is not the first time evidence or paperwork gets lost!
    We’ll wait and see if our hemp gets sold on the street. Boy are they gonna be, not stoned and pissed off!!.
    We understand that suing the County will only punish the tax payers. That is not our goal. The official theft of our legal business product was a planned attack by a limited number of County employees. We intend to bring our legal action , which will be substantially larger than the one filed in Federal court this week by the investors, and intend to look at and petition the courts for personal prosecutions of the County employees that were directly involved. We would like to collect our judgement primarily from the lawbreakers first. We are confident that the courts will see it our way. After the approval of yesterdays illegal ordinance, and after hearing from the public that they were in clear violation of State law, we believe the Supervisors have lost any hope of invoking qualified immunity and can be held personally responsibly. We are also bringing in a top tiered Law firm specializing in government fraud to handle this part of the case. While we would love for County Legal staff to handle this case, that would be a conflict of interest, as I’m suing them too. Although that doesn’t seem to matter much in San Joaquin, where your told, GET IN LINE!

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