DEA burns Sioux hemp

On August 24, armed DEA and FBI agents destroyed an acre and a half of hemp in the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, two days before it was to be harvested.
The hemp was planted by Alex White Plume on his farm in May 2000. The Oglala Sioux Nation tribal council had passed an ordinance in July 1998 that authorized the growing of hemp with a THC level under 1% by weight.?White Plume said officers told him tests had confirmed that his plants held less than 1% THC.

Officers reportedly pointed AK-47s at White Plume, but made no arrests. White Plume issued a press release when he planted the crop, and said he had “nothing to hide.” White Plume is only one of many who are cultivating hemp in the area.

Tribal lawyers claim that the ordinance is a sovereignty issue and gives them immunity from federal prosecution, but the DEA does not accept this.

? Alex White Plume (605) 455-2155; website

? The US Drug Enforcement Administration: DEA Information Services Section (CPI), 700 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA 22202, website