White Plume hemp cultivation sovereignty case


Case No. 05-1654 consolidated with No. 05-1656 (CIV 02-5071-RHB)

1998: The Oglala Sioux Tribe passed Ordinance 98-27, which distinguishes between marijuana and hemp and allows Lakota farmers to grow hemp under tribal supervision.

1999 – 2002: The White Plume Family and other Lakota hemp farmers with the Slim Buttes Land Use Association grew hemp; the DEA raided and destroyed the hemp crops; the U.S. government finally brought action for injunction against the White Plumes and anyone helping them from growing hemp. Tierra Madre, LLC and Madison Hemp and Flax Company 1806, Inc. had contracts to purchase the White Plume hemp and donate it to a hemp house being built for a Lakota elder, and they entered the case later as Intervenor Defendants.

Case No. 02-5071

The following papers were served upon Alex White Plume on Saturday, August 10, 2002.



Motion for Restraining Order



See the final court ruling here (PDF file 620k).

2005: The defendants appealed to the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals which granted appellants’ request for oral argument on December 12 in St. Louis. The Court also granted the motions of amicus parties Hemp Industries Association (HIA), Vote Hemp and Oglala Sioux Tribe.

Read all the briefs:

Case No. 05-1654

Appellant Brief

Appellee Brief

Amicus Brief (Owe Aku Tiospaye, Indigenous Law Institute and Institute for Cultural Ecology)

Appellant Reply Brief

Case No. 05-1656


Amicus Brief (HIA, Vote Hemp and Oglala Sioux Tribe) (PDF file 208k)

Affidavit of David P. West, Ph.D. (PDF file 200k)

Appellant Reply Brief

Listen to the oral arguments (Real Audio file).

Read our press releases about the case:

Federal Judge Calls DEA’s Views on Hemp Farming ‘Asinine’ in Case Over Industrial Hemp & Tribal Sovereignty
December 16, 2005

Lakota, Once Encouraged by U.S. Government Treaty to Grow Hemp, Fight to Do So Again
June 9, 2005