|HEMPOLOGY.ORG: THE STUDY OF HEMP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 24, 2000
Lakota Indians Defying DEA; Accepts KY Co-op's Offer to Replace Destroyed Hemp Crop
Contact: KHGCA Executive Director Joe Hickey; (859) 277-5115
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.
The DEA's seizure of the property was in accordance with federal policy, based on the premise that hemp and marijuana are the same. 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 the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative's offer to help replace a portion of the hemp destroyed in the DEA's war on drugs. Tom Cook, the project's coordinator says, " We will soon be going 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 Gov. Louie B. Nunn will present Joe American Horse with the Kentucky/Canadian hemp in a ceremony on November 28, 2000 highlighting the need for some common sense regulations of industrial hemp in the United States. Gov. 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. (END)
Time and location of the presentation will be announced Sunday, November 26, 2000.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pine Ridge, South Dakota
October 12, 2000
Kentucky Hemp Growers Co-op offering to replace Lakota Indian's hemp destroyed by Drug Enforcement Agents
Pine Ridge Reservation, S.D. - In a pre-dawn raid on August 24, 2000, thirty-three (33) heavily armed Drug Enforcement Agents (DEA) trespassed onto the sovereign Lakota Nation at Pine Ridge and destroyed two industrial hemp crops being grown as a commercial venture under tribal ordinance. As it turns out the loss of the plant material, which was going to be used for composite construction materials, will not slow down the Lakota Hemp Project.
"The Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative is offering to replace some of the hemp lost to the nightmare of the drug war," said Alex White Plume, whose 1-acre hemp crop on Wounded Knee creek was seized and destroyed. White Plume now believes the DEA's actions are helping, not derailing his long-range plans. He said the positive feedback is showing that, "Lakota hemp is gaining respect in the world."
In a letter to White Plume, the Kentucky Hemp Growers Co-op's executive director, Joe Hickey, characterized America's hemp policy as "fundamentally absurd and destructive... In light of international treaties protecting its cultivation worldwide, the policy is ludicrous and irresponsible." In the face of Kentucky's Supreme Court ruling that 'hemp is marijuana,' Hickey has offered to help make up the loss by transporting and delivering legally imported Canadian hemp bales from Kentucky, across state lines, to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
White Plume is quick to point out that, "It's all hemp from Canada. Why doesn't the DEA list Canada as a drug-producing country, if they are going to treat Pine Ridge like one?"
Tom Cook, whose name was on the Slim Buttes 'grow out operation,' also had his crop seized and thinks, "It's a big money thing. The DEA has made more money off this seizure than anyone, nearly $3 per hemp plant, according to the national average." Quoting a January, 1998 Vermont legislative study of the DEA's national cannabis eradication program Cook said, "In South Dakota the DEA eradicated 224 marijuana plants in 1997, while that same year they eradicated over 189 million ditchweed (hemp) plants! According to the Vermont study, 99.28% of cannabis eradicated nationally was ditchweed, while only 00.72% was actually marijuana. In comparison, South Dakota's percentage of ditchweed, to the total amount destroyed, was 100%." [see 1996: DEA FERAL HEMP ERADICATION STATISTICS to view the table]
White Plume agrees with Cook's characterization of the national eradication program as an "extensive DEA jobs program, a display of unlimited law enforcement budgets being used to change the cultural landscape of America and controlling the mental processes of people." Despite the ultimate threat of death penalties and the expanding prison/industrial complex, neither sees hemp as a hopeless prospect. "We didn't get indicted because we had the truth on our side," said Cook, adding "however, they have said they will indict us if we do it again."
"The entire matter looks like universal deceit" White Plume states, and "unless the policy is corrected, law enforcement will continue on its present course of losing credibility. Their confiscation of our economic activity - meant to stop legitimate efforts to help ourselves - is having the opposite effect."
An upcoming trip to Germany underscores international interest in the Lakota hemp project. White Plume will be one of five Indians in a delegation invited to Bavaria by the Lakota Village Fund to collaborate with university hemp researchers. They will also be inspecting the local hemp industries in the Catholic monastery near Bernried. If hemp is truly a godsend to the Pine Ridge people, its uses will be fashioned with the help of Catholic priests who, after all, first cultivated the plants on the reservation over a hundred years ago. (END)
Alex White Plume (605) 455-2155
Tom Ballanco, Esq. (310) 291-3659
CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE PLANTING IN MAY'2000:
2000: OGLALA SIOUX TRIBE PLANTS HEMP!!
2000: SIOUX HEMP - WHITE PLUME PLANTS HEMP
SEE PICTURES OF THE PLANTING:
SOWING SIOUX HEMP
TOM COOK AND CHIEF JOE AMERICAN HORSE WITH HEMP SEED
CHIEF AMERICAN HORSE IN THE HEMP FIELD
SAYING A PRAYER OVER THE SOWING OF HEMP
HEMP HOUSE AT SLIM BUTTES
CHIEF JOE AMERICAN HORSE WITH "HEMPCRETE" BLOCKS