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Are Poppies Legal To Grow In The Garden?


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more from Detroit Gardening Examiner article http://www.examiner.com/article/are-poppies-legal-to-grow-the-garden


Do you have illegal poppies in your garden? If you have been going through garden catalogs lately you may have noticed the many poppy varieties being offered, both as seeds and plants. Some of them are quite gorgeous and you may be considering adding them to your garden. But before you add certain poppy varieties to the garden you may want to consider this.


Growing any Papaver sominiferum poppy varieties or the closely related Papaver paeoniflorum varieties (which are just double flowered P.sominiferum) is illegal. The Poppy Control Act of 1942 was repealed in the 70’s but controlling the growing of opium poppy plants was transferred to current laws and regulations on producing or possessing illegal narcotics. You can have the seeds of any of these poppies because the use of poppy seeds in cooking is fine. But cultivation of these species, growing the plants, is illegal and a federal crime. It is also illegal to have dried opium poppy seed pods or stalks on your property.


Still, since so many beautiful varieties are available- and they are offered in so many catalogs - surely this is a crime that is rarely prosecuted? But it seems that recently the DEA has stepped up efforts to get these poppies off the market and prosecute growers. The internet may have had something to do with this.


Making opium from poppies isn’t as hard as once thought


Until recently it was commonly thought that growing poppies to get opium was something hard to do and that the narcotic poppies had to be grown in certain climates. Processing the opium from the poppies was considered to be difficult and not something the average person could do. Even the USDA and the DEA officials shared these ideas with the public. But it seems that some people have always known that opium poppies grow just fine in the US and most of Europe and that it is extremely easy to harvest raw opium from poppy seed pods. It was also easy to produce narcotic concoctions from other poppy plant parts. These people began to share their knowledge on the internet (a quick search on the net will tell you several easy ways to produce opium and other narcotics from poppies), and a pamphlet was written that got the USDA and the DEA’s attention.

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just in case anyone thinks i'm interested in poppies or opium, i'm not. 

i'm not big into growing flowers aside from cannabis.


maybe a sunflower or two so i can watch the birds snacking on fresh seeds while hanging upsidedown.


sometimes i just like reading pamphlets.


I didn't even think about it until you put in the disclaimer...

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no worries, only 350,000 returned results = https://www.google.com/#q=arrested+for+poppies :judge:






Papaver somniferum















Schedule II








Opium poppies are specifically scheduled under U.S. Law. The Controlled Substances Act, Schedule II, lists "Opium poppy and poppy straw" as well as "Concentrate of poppy straw (the crude extract of poppy straw in either liquid, solid or powder form which contains the phenanthrene alkaloids of the opium poppy)". Opium and its constituent chemicals are listed in Schedule II and some derivatives (such as Heroin) are listed in Schedule I.


There is some confusion in the law, however, because opium-producing poppies are widely grown around the US and Canada and the opium poppy seeds are omnipresent in cooking, breads, and deserts. The grey-blue poppy seeds sold in virtually every grocery store in the US contain low levels of opiates (not psychoactive at amounts used in cooking). Poppy pods are widely used in dry flower arrangements.


Law enforcement in the US is somewhat inconsistent about these plants, although there are continual attempts to try to stop them from being sold or grown. If poppies are grown as sources for opiates, there is no question that it violates the CSA. If poppies are purely grown for ornamental purposes, their legal position is somewhat less clear cut, since they are so widely grown and available.


Opium for legal commercial pharmaceutical use is grown with special government licenses around the world, although very little of it is grown inside the US. Large scale underground opium poppy growing is reported to take place in Mexico, Afghanistan, and many other countries in Asia. Much of the produced opium is converted into heroin because it is easier to ship and commands a higher price than raw opium.


The U.S. DEA recently re-affirmed in 2006 that Afghanistan is not a legal source for poppy products. See http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20061800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2006/E6-16325.htm:

Edited by grassmatch
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You can grow them as long as you don't know what they are. (Makes perfect sense doesn't it?)


The government doesn't actively pursue poppy grows primarily because most people don't know they're growing opium. The seeds are sold at most garden centers as ornamentals and the jar of poppy seeds from the supermarket will grow into opium poppies. If they bring attention to it then more people will realize what they have. LEO doesn't want that.


On the off chance they question you about it just tell them grandma's been growing them for years and you've always thought they were pretty. As far as you know opium poppies are always white and only grow in remote regions of the world. "Golly Officer Fife, I don't think them things will grow in this climate, you got to have a jungle or sumpthin'."


If they catch you slitting the pods or if you have a large field of them then you'll be in trouble.

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The tar is opium, not heroin.


Once you have the opium tar, you first have to turn it into morphine by mixing it with lime/water and boiling it down.  Then you skim off the top, mix that with ammonia and filter it down and ya have morphine.  From the morphine stage,  you then take the morphine concentrate and mix it with acetic anhydride and cook that down. Then ya add water and chloroform to rinse it, and then add sodium carbonate. After that you use alcohol extraction and filter it through a charcoal while heating. Then ya use hydrochloric acid to purify.  Then ya have heroin.


I hate seeing opium(milk of the poppy) denigrated by heroin. Just look at the nastiness one must do to get to that point. Ewww.  And they feed ya that stuff in pill form by the millions. ;-)


I watched a PBS special. ;-)

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