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DEA Raid on Tribe's Cannabis Crop Infuriates and Confuses Reformers

Federal agents swarmed the Menominee Indian tribe's Wisconsin reservation Friday and eradicated 30,000 cannabis plants, confusing and alarming tribal leaders, policy reformers and attorneys who work with other American Indian tribes considering growing marijuana or hemp.

Menominee leaders say the plants were intended for lawful research into growing industrial hemp, which is processed and utilized for fiber, food and oil and is distinguishable from marijuana by its lower levels of the high-inducing compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Growing hemp was illegal in the U.S. for decades until an amendment to the 2014 federal farm bill allowed states to implement pilot programs growing hemp for academic or agricultural research. Several states, such as Colorado and Kentucky, have done so, and the Menominee announced earlier this year they would, too, in cooperation with the College of the Menominee Nation.

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Steven Nelson ~ U.S. News

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