According to documents filed by the prosecutors office, it was indeed an informants letter that led to the March 6 raid on the Hogshires apartment; the letter, sent to the Seattle police by a man named Bob Black, was cited along with Hogshires published writings.
The climate has to be just right, he explained.
After all, it wasnt such a long time ago that the fortunes of the apple and the poppy in this country were reversed.Jim pointed out that it was wintertime and asked the officer, Why should I grow poppies when theyre on sale in the stores?This didnt seem especially relevant; Id read that opium poppies could be white, purple, scarlet, lavender, and black, as well as a reddish-orange.It was quarter to seven in the evening, and Jim Hogshire was reading a book in his living room when he heard the knock at the door; the instant he answered it he found himself thrown up against a wall.The lavender blooms of another variety followed a few days later, a cooler but no less pure jolt of color.(Since opium is extremely bitter, nursing mothers would induce babies to ingest it by smearing the medicine on their nipples.) Regarded as Gods own medicine, preparations of opium were as common in the Victorian medicine cabinet as aspirin is in ours.He asked us to put an article in our newsletter advising people not to carry this certain kind of poppy, she told.As I would do with any fellow flower enthusiast, I asked him if he had any seeds he might be willing to share with me and told him about the varieties Id found in the catalogues.The decision whether or not to prosecute a per son turns not only on what crimes he may or may not have committed but also on what sort of story a prosecutor can tell about him.The larger poppy heads were buff-colored and strikingly sculptural.He also pointed out that it was possible to become addicted to poppy tea.My poppy seeds arrived a couple of weeks later.I had started out a few months ago with a seed no more felonious than the one for a tomato (indeed, they had arrived in the same envelope and, after planting and watering it, thinning and weeding and performing all the other ordinary acts.(Whats more, I was vulnerable to the very charge that hadnt stuck to Hogshiremanufacturing!) I was, potentially at least, in deep, deep trouble.
After I introduced myself as a garden writer, Snyder agreed to an interview.
So it seemed to me that I could remain safely on the sunny side of the law just as long as I didnt attempt to extract any opium from my poppies.