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Lakota Indians Defying DEA; Accepts Kentucky Co-op’s Offer to Replace Destroyed Hemp Crop

Posted on November 26, 2000

Governor Nunn joins Joe American Horse at State’s Capitol for Public Presentation

Last August 24, in the centuries-old tradition of trampling on Native American rights, armed DEA agents invaded sovereign Lakota land and confiscated two hemp crops growing on the poverty-stricken Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The hemp was to be a vital source for construction materials to be used by the Slim Butte Land Association housing project, a community-based economic development initiative. Despite the DEA’s destruction of this crop, the Lakota Housing Project will soon be back on schedule.

Oglala Sioux Tribal (OST) members and representatives of the land use cooperative have accepted an offer from The Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative (KHGCA) and the Madison Hemp & Flax Company to help replace a portion of the hemp destroyed in the DEA’s war on drugs. Tom Cook, the project’s coordinator says, “We are coming to Kentucky in an effort to demonstrate how absurd and destructive this so-called “drug war” has become. Essentially, we are picking-up exactly the same material destroyed by the DEA — that’s absurd. We aren’t going to let their foolishness stop our progress.”

The Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative’s president, Andrew Graves, agrees the state and federal governments are overstepping the bounds of reason by equating hemp with marijuana. “Even though Kentucky’s Supreme Court ruled hemp “is” marijuana, we continue to import hemp here from Canada. Isn’t it ironic the hemp we imported is now going to replace the hemp destroyed by the same federal government which allows its importation?” asked Graves.

Former OST President Joe American Horse asked, “Why did the DEA have to destroy our legitimate commercial crop? Why didn’t they go a few hours eastward where thousands of acres of hemp are growing? Why pick on Indians? We are trying to make a living. We are not promoting drugs.”

Alex White Plume, whose crop was destroyed, believes the DEA’s actions helped, not hurt their efforts to develop a sustainable building program on the reservation. “The very fact that people are coming forward to help us has been overwhelming and gives us hope for the future,” he said.

Former Governor Louie B. Nunn will present Joe American Horse with the Kentucky/Canadian hemp in the Kentucky State Capitol rotunda at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday November 28, 2000, highlighting the need for some common sense regulations of industrial hemp in the United States. Governor Nunn said, “I intend on traveling with the Indian delegation back to the Pine Ridge Reservation in an effort to help educate the public along the way about the potential benefits of this historical crop and to demonstrate that we all need to work together to help develop an agricultural and economic future that will better serve all people.”

Copyright © 2000, Kentucy Hemp Growers Cooperative Association. All rights reserved.