Federal Judge Calls DEA's View of Hemp 'Asinine'
Alex White Plume and his family are members of the Lakota Nation who live on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The DEA sued to stop them from growing industrial hemp. The White Plumes planted and grew the hemp for three seasons, and then the DEA cut it down and took it.
The case reached the 8th Circuit where oral arguments were held this week.
During the oral arguments it became clear that Judge Kermit Bye and Judge Arlen Beam were focused on two issues: (1) the irrationality of allowing the exempt parts of the plant to be imported into the U.S. but not allowing industrial hemp to be grown in the U.S. and (2) the lack of any rational permitting process by the DEA.
While the Government's case was made, Judge Beam commented, "It seems asinine to me that they can bring in the Canadian stuff and use it but can't grow it." Beam also suggested that it did not make sense that Congress would try to make the economy of Native American tribes more enhanced by casino gambling but not allow industrial hemp cultivation.
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