November 9, 2012

Oregon’s High Hopes Farm Faces Federal Forfeiture

November 9, 2012
oregon medical marijuana cannabis oregonian newspaper

oregon cannabisIn their constant swim upstream against public sentiment, Federal prosecutors filed court papers on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Portland to fire up its unjust forfeiture case against High Hopes Farm

by Philly Blunt

Two days after the historical election in which Washington and Colorado both legalized recreational marijuana consumption, Oregon’s High Hopes Farm is not feeling to Irie.

That might have something to do with the DEA’s knock on James Bowman’s door. James has recently been faced with ‘the feds’ idea of justice as they attempt to wrestle away possession of two Applegate Valley properties, neither of which is owned by Mr. Bowman. Yet these properties were allegedly used by “High Hopes Farm” for the cultivation of marijuana. Mr. Bowman contends that all of his cultivation activities were completely legal and within the state’s medical-marijuana program – despite still being a federal violation.

In their constant swim upstream, against public sentiment, Federal prosecutors filed court papers on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Portland to fire up its unjust forfeiture case against the property where Bowman cultivated his dank pot for High Hopes Farm, despite the glaring fact that Bowman owns neither properties… and has yet to be charged with a single offense.

According to the County tax records the legal owner of the overly cultivated five-acre in question High belongs to Melissa Jean Yager, and according to the DEA  Yager is Bowman’s girlfriend.

The other properly seemingly up for grabs is a neighboring property owned by William Day Boddorff, sublet some of his land to High Hopes Farm and Bowman for the expressed purpose of medical marijuana cultivation. Boddorff told DEA agents that Bowman told him ‘not to worry about facing federal seizure’ due to the fact he was following “the letter of the law” as laid out by the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. Boddorff’s property has an assessor’s value at $1.27 million according to the County tax records. Not a bad haul for the DEA, should they be allowed to get away with it.

 The High Hopes Farm was listed in court papers as containing a nearly 1,300-square-foot, double-wide trailer on it. The Jackson County Assessor’s Office lists the property’s current market value at $173,350.

The property at 746 Upper Applegate Road has two residences, along with a single-wide manufactured home and outbuildings. The assessor’s office lists its current value at $1.27 million. source

When the DEA raided High Hopes Farm on Sept. 18 by they seized just over 600 marijuana plants and approximately 400 pounds of dried bud that had been cultivated, cured and packaged from High Hopes Farm. Despite the fact that the Oregon medical marijuana program regulations clearly state that no property should grow more than about 400 plants under their rules.

The DEA revealed through affidavits that High Hopes Farm was under surveillance from the beginning of 2008, when DEA agents began utilizing aerial photography to detect and count what the DEA suspected to be mature pot plants being readied for harvest.

Then in July 2010 the DEA decided to go low-budget and utilized Google Earth imagery to zoom in on high hopes, in an attempt to identify and tally what the ‘boys and black‘ again suspected to be marijuana plants. Then as a means of putting icing on their prosecutorial cake, the DEA carried out one last aerial surveillance flight over both properties during July and August of this year, as groundwork for the federal search warrant which led to the Sept. 18 raid.  - Here are Gil and Tang with Jim back in the days of greener pastures

This post originally appeared on and was republished with special permission.


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