la Kamena and was based on a review of new information and the totality of the evidence in the case. On March 20th, Superior Court Judge Terrance Boren agreed to dismiss the charges, thus ending eight difficult months.

Kamena's opinion, which reiterates that possession of the oriental "opium" poppy, papaver somniferum, is illegal, listed a number of legal difficulties involved in proving that Knight knowingly intended to use the poppies growing in his garden and the dried decorative stalks in his laundry room for illegal purposes.

While a state chemist did extract traces of morphine and codeine from the dried stalks, they were not identified by a botanist as papaver somniferum, and that is the only poppy whose possession is illegal. Furthermore, morphine and codeine apparently can be extracted from other poppies, not named by Kamena. Since Knight did not have any chemicals or apparatus necessary to extract the illegal drugs, intent to extract them was lacking.

Kamena noted thathis laundry room for illegal purposes.

While a state chemist did extract traces of morphine and codeine from the dried stalks, they were not identified by a botanist as papaver somniferum, and that is the only poppy whose possession is illegal. Furthermore, morphine and codeine apparently can be extracted from other poppies, not named by Kamena. Since Knight did not have any chemicals or apparatus necessary to extract the illegal drugs, intent to extract them was lacking.

Kamena noted that dried decorative poppies can be readily purchased in the county and wrote that one of the detectives involved in the seizure of evidence at the Knight home purchased poppies in a local store.

After the charges were dismissed by Judge Boren, Judge Graham, who had heard the case up to this point, interrupted his regular calendar, congratulated the Knights, commended their patience and courtesy and wished them well. This was before a courtroom packed with attorneys (including Tony Serra of Bolinas), media people and spectators appearing for some obviously important case. The Knights also thanked the judge for his courtesy. "I felt from the beginning we would find justice in your courtroom, and I think we have," Susan told the judge.

No Happy Ending

But that day did not end happily for the Knights. That evening when they went to their rental home in Stinson Beach to celebrate, they found a notice of unsafe structure stapled on the building by the Marin County Building Department. They were given 20 minutes to vacate because of storm damage. One of the 20 reinforced concrete piers under their home had been damaged. Although the pier lost two feet of concrete, it's integrity was not lost. Only one other home was so noticed at Stinson this year. Nine days later, after the expense of getting an insurance investigator and engineer's report, the structure was noted as safe to occupy.

On the day the criminal charges were formally dismissed, the Point Reyes Light featured a front-page photo of the gate on the road in front of Knight's Forest Knoll's home with the headline "Neighbors in Flap over Gated Valley Road." The article actually referred mostly to Lagunitas neighbors complaining about the gate put up by the Haas family (of Levi Strauss fame) across Spring Road in Lagunitas-a totally different situation.

Knight says he never denied anyone access. His dispute is with the Open Space District and the County Council for trying to take over the road.

In the Light article under paragraph "Willing to litigate...," County Council Charles McKee is quoted stating " ... the county would settle its disagreement with the Knights in court if it proved necessary."

Knight says he posted the road, as have prior owners, with the standard language that the right to pass is by permission, by owner, according to the Civil Code 1008.

Knight has a copy of a letter by a neighbor who has lived here for many years and moved because of harassment by the Open Space District and their rude guests.

"This unrelenting assault by different agencies of the County is making me nuts" said Knight. "And how do I explain how my entire file on my dispute with Open Space, along with most of my photos of the history of my signs, are missing since the police raid on my home last August?"

Georgia Man Imprisoned For Twenty Years

For Growing Poppies

By Jim Scanlon

The Coastal Post was able to learn of only one successful prosecution for growing the oriental poppy, papaver somniferum. It involved a young man living in a rural area of Georgia about 50 miles south of Atlanta. Rodney Allen Moore is now in Carol County Prison serving a 20-year sentence. of which 10 years are mandatory before parole can be considered. Moore had no prior record of crimes.

In 1996 Moore was convicted in Spalding County Court of "traffic in morphine, manufacturing morphine and manufacturing marijuana." Charges of "violation of the Controlled Substance Act" and "possession of firearms" were dismissed.

Moore had a small plot of marijuana growing near his house and 40 oriental poppies growing in his back yard. He had in his home a book Opium For the Masses by Jim Hogshire subtitled "A Practical Guide To Growing Poppies and Making Opium."

Moore had no opium or chemicals for making, processing or distributing opium according to his lawyer, Walker Chandler of Zebulon, Georgia, a three-time Libertarian candidate for State Attorney General. "Normally, for growing marijuana, a person might get 10 years and do four, but Moore got a big sentence because of the poppies," Chandler said. In addition, Moore has to pay an enormous fine. "The narcotics police were overjoyed with this case, " Chandler said. "It justified their existence, and their high-paying jobs."

Apparently, Moore's mother was concerned about his activities and asked the local police for help. The local police contacted the State Bureau of Investigation which raided Moore's shack with a heavily armed SWAT team descending from helicopters.

Jim Hogshire, the author of Opium For The Masses was also charged with manufacturing morphine from poppies in Seattle in 1996. This case was written up in a long article which appeared in Harper's magazine in April of that year. A house guest made a pass at Hogshire's wife and Hogshire ordered him out of his home at gunpoint. The house guest retaliated by writing a letter to the police maintaining that Hogshire's home was a drug lab.

A SWAT team raided Hogshire's home and although what they found was something less than a drug lab, he spent a considerable time in jail. The drug charges against Hogshire were eventually dismissed although he plead guilty to misdemeanor possession of an "explosive device" (a termite flare) for which he was sentenced to complete 100 hours of community service work

He is now at work revising his opium book trying to pay back the $50,000 he is in debt because of legal expenses. Hogshire says that contrary to popular belief, all parts of the oriental poppy are psychoactive, dried or green, and that scoring (cutting) the immature green seed pod, as commercial operators do, is not necessary to obtain the concentrated sap. The active ingredients are more soluble in alcohol. (Note: the hops plant is a member of the same family as the marijuana plant, has a resin which is also more soluble in alcohol, hence its use as a flavoring in most beers.)

Does California's state flower contain illegal substances? Native Americans used leaves and seeds as a remedy for toothache and would smoke the leaves to induce calming. It is also used in Europe for hyperactivity in children and insomnia in adults. Dried leaves and flowers are smoked for mild euphoria allegedly without side effects.(Note: we've heard this before!)

The California poppy may not be illegal to possess, but there is a $500 fine for picking them, so beware.

Hogshire once lived in San Anselmo and worked for a time for the Pacific Sun. Besides the opium book, the Marin County Library lists him as the author of Sell Yourself To Science: The Complete Guide to Selling Your Organs, Body Fluids, Bodily Functions and Being a Human Guinea Pig and You Are Going To Prison: Custody, Trial, Prison, Jailhouse Justice, Execution, an Afterthought on Forethought, Available at Sausalito Branch, call number 376.6.

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