papaver somniferum//opium poppy ??? Mi. law ??

Ann_Michigan(z4-5 n.w.lower)April 28, 2005

I got a lot of poppy seeds this year and now I came accross a magazine that points out that this kind of poppy is illegal in some states===anyone know about michigan law on this?????

This magazine is Gardening how-to ==page 52

Trouble with the law?

while it is perfectly legal to order and possess seeds of opium poppies, it may not be legal to grow them:Federal drug laws prohibit the possession of opium poppy plant parts other then seeds. These laws aim to prevent cultivation of opium for illegal narcotic use. While it seems obvious that gardeners grow these poppies for there lovely flowers reather than drug use,check policies with your local law enforcement agency before growing opium poppies.

I don't know where to start checking;-))))

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I've wondered about this myself. Two years ago I purchased a black opium poppy plant from a grower here in Michigan. It didn't return last year. I didn't know whether it was an annual or perennial when I got it. Should have saved seeds and grown it myself last year.
So, guess what I'm saying is, that some growers in Michigan grow it, so maybe it's not illegal in Michigan. Of course, you never know for sure, do you?
I'll be interested to see if anyone else responds with information about this.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2005 at 1:07PM
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It's probably not so much a matter of state law--it's a fed thing too. That being said, I doubt anyone walking by will know whether they're looking at a nudicale, an orientale, a somniferum or any other particular poppy, and if they do, they'll probably be another gardener--not a federal drug narc.

I've noticed some seed catalogs, like Thompson & Morgan, have stopped sending seeds that are listed as papaver somniferum to the U.S.

I was going to post a link, but GW wouldn't allow it. So do a google search with the terms "papaver somniferum" and "botany of desire," or "papaver somniferum, Michael Pollard and Harper" and you'll quickly come across a very interesting Michael Pollard article originally published in Harper's Magazine in 1997.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2005 at 1:58PM
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eleanor_rigby(z5 OH)

Papaver somniferum is a self-seeding annual. It is a true annual in that it grows, flowers, sets seeds, and dies in a single season. There is nothing you can do to stop this process. It is distinctly different looking from Papaver orientale, so anyone who knows poppies will know it is not that species. People who are unfamiliar with the genus don't have any idea of what it is. Harriet, if you had it in your garden one year and not the next, you probably cut it down before it set seed.

I will own up to having it in my garden. I got the seeds from my mother. Another friend who is in the commercial gardening business has it in her gardens. We have traded colors. We DO NOT worry about any laws governing this plant. You would have to have acres of it to begin to get enough sap to produce opium. T&M can no longer send it into the US because of DEA regulations. And those guys are not very realistic about things like this!


    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 12:52PM
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I grow it every year for the poppy seeds for baking. If I were to try to grow say an acre of the stuff, someone might be curious. As is my little group are just pretty flowers. Given the amount of intense hand work and numbers of plants required to turn the plants into opium, I can't believe anyone state side would bother growing them for that reason.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 8:35PM
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dan_j(SE MI 6a)

My wife purchased a "Black Opium Poppy" from a vender at Royal Oak (MI) farmers market last Saturday. The plant was labeled as such. When questioned about it about the legality of owning/growing an opium poppy, his response was that he had been selling them in the shadow of the RO Police Dept for years and never had a problem.

Happy trails,

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 8:10AM
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Hapslappy(Mi z5b)

I have read that "opium" & "breadseed" poppies are the same thing. I also read that poppy seeds you buy in the store for baking very well may germinate for you! If they are the same, I don't see how they can be restricted or illegal. That's my immature logic, anyway. Shannon

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 4:38PM
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carealot(z5 Ohio)

There are several different varieties of Opium poppies, Only a pro that knows how to grow the right variety knows what to do with a plant like this. A latex cantaining several important alkaloids is obtained from immature seed capsules one to three weeks after flowering. cuts are made in the walls of the green seed pods to collect the milky exudation to be dryed out and used for medical reasons. The seed and oil are not narcotic because they develop after the capsule has lost the opium-yielding potential.The seeds can be used for baked goods and pastries for their nutty odor and flavor, The oil is used for many different things, paints, varnishes, soaps, ect.
The Opium,(dryed out from milky part) Is used to make morphine, codeine, and other alkaloids.
The deodorized forms of opium (Morphine) is the raw material from which heroin is obtained. The plant itself is one of the most important medicinal plants in the world. 6 alkaloids are collected from the dryed out portion of the milky exudation and all 6 are used medically. Only the deodorized morphine part can be turned into the illegal drug and only a trained expert would know how to separate the 6 alkaloids. I don't think anyone growing this plant in their own yard for a beautiful flower would ever have anything to worry about with their government. It's the ones who have a huge operation going on and I mean huge, on their property that they want.
So enjoy your little poppies for their beauty.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 5:08AM
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There is nothing like first hand experience to dispell ignorance. I grew them for interest only, since I avoid drugs like the plague. They are not illegal in Canada, only if you start lancing the pods, which I might add, you need a vast quantity of plants to get any reasonable quantity of the raw opium paste. One would have to be extremely hungry to grow so many, plus it is a lot of daily work.
This is the UBC website, where I often post. Below are pictures of four types of papaver somniferum poppies that I grew last year. One,the Poppy Venus is very pretty as is the Danish Flag. I noticed that one thing they all have in common is the vegetation, which is shown in all the pictures, plus the Danish Flag Cross is present on the flowers of all types to some degree. These may not be the only distinguishing characteristics, but what I observed. The flowers only last one or two days, except for Poppy Venus which lasts longer; in fact, it looks like a small peony.
25 Aug 2005 Papaver Somniferum Laciniatum (Poppy Venus)
12 July 2005 Papaver Somniferum (Hen and Chickens)
25 Aug 2005 Papaver Somniferum Danish Flag
25 Aug 2005 Papaver Somniferum China White HTML


Here is a link that might be useful: U Of BC Web-Site

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 6:57PM
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wannab(8b & 4a)

I have had poppies in my garden for years. Yes, the opium ones. Here in Mi U.P. they grow like a weed. We have many police/law enforcement officers in our family including two sons, and none of them have ever mentioned it being against the law. By the way, I am told that you will fail the P--Test if you have had a poppy seed roll before the test, so the seeds must have some of the drug in them. We only use ours for beauty and we got the original plants from the Jung Seed Catalog.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 6:23PM
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Quote- "By the way, I am told that you will fail the P--Test if you have had a poppy seed roll before the test, so the seeds must have some of the drug in them."

This is not true per-se. Opium poppy seeds have been tested many times. They themselves, do NOT contain any illegal alkaloids. The myth lies in the fact of how the seeds are obtained. When the seeds are collected, the poppy heads are merely dried and crushed, therefore releasing some small amount of the milky latex onto the seeds. This may be the reason that one or more people have failed a test. Or, it might just be a COMPLETE myth; an excuse of somebody that failed a test and tried to lie their way out of it.

So there you have it...

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 11:58PM
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It is illegal to possess any part of the plant (except the seed) in every state. It is a federal law. You don't need acres and acres of poppies to produce large quantities of raw opium. 1/2 an acre can produce 4 to 8 pounds of raw opium depending on growing conditions. 10 pounds of raw opium will make 1 pound of heroin which is worth about $200,000 if its broken down and sold on the street.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 1:22AM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

The poppy seeds in muffins can test positive when you do a drug test. I know of two men who came up with positives during our random tests at work. Both had tested clean for years, suddenly came up with a positive. Neither was the type to do drugs, had a hard time figuring out the problem source. Both had the poppy seed muffins when their favorite fruit muffins were sold out. They tested clean the next day, with no muffins for breakfast!!

We were warned about drug testing results when Company started doing the tests. No liquid cough syrups, they will show alcohol positive, as well as showing positive in a breath test. Decongestants can test positive as well for alcohol. We got a whole list of possible problem items that will show as drug positives when we tested.

Your personal responsibility to avoid such medications or the other items that would show positives in testing. I know I switched to tablet decongestants!!

Dr.s office always asked ahead of test, if we were taking medication to possibly show a bad result. Our company does have a 2nd test option, in case of a false result. Some companies don't, zero tolerance policy, so you could lose your job over a poor choice of muffin or medication.

Random testing was required to keep your job, required by Gov't. for CDL liscensed Truck Drivers.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 2:10AM
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quote - "This is not true per-se. Opium poppy seeds have been tested many times. They themselves, do NOT contain any illegal alkaloids. The myth lies in the fact of how the seeds are obtained. When the seeds are collected, the poppy heads are merely dried and crushed, therefore releasing some small amount of the milky latex onto the seeds. This may be the reason that one or more people have failed a test. Or, it might just be a COMPLETE myth; an excuse of somebody that failed a test and tried to lie their way out of it." - igman87

This is actually not true. What is your source for these tests? What is true is that not all poppy pods produce opium and therefore not all tests will yield a positive result. Because this topic is on a specific variety (papaver somniferum//opium poppy) I will say that if you have seeds from this specific variety you are almost guaranteed to get a positive amount of opium alkaloids on the seeds (of course cultivation techniques, growing methods and fertilization will affect the amount). There are some cases where the alkaloid is not present but this is rare. How can a dried pod release a milky substance? This is not true either. Poppy pods have a unique outer layer with a thin inner layer creating a very thin chamber near the exterior of the pod. The middle of the pod is the seed chamber. If the pods are not cultivated for the opium (milked) then the opium will penetrate the thin layer between the seed chamber and the outer layer of the pod and fall onto the seeds coating them with the opium alkaloids. The alkaloids dry very hard onto the seeds and usually take acidic solutions and heat to remove them. That is why lemon poppy seeds are most commonly heard in failed drug testing because of the acids in the lemon juice. in some cases the alkaloid is destroyed due to the high temperatures used in cooking.

According to the Controlled Substances Act, every part of the opium poppy except the seed is illegal, including the seed pods and growing seed pods, but some companies do import dried seed pods for decorative purposes.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 2:25AM
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Myth Busters on the discovery channel proved you can fail a drug test if you ate 4 bagels covered with poppy seeds. Another show proved you would fail if you ate 2 before a test.

They are gorgeous flowers. It's a same anyone would use them for such bad things.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 7:08PM
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I know of a woman, in Bear Lake Michigan, Manistee County, several years ago that was growing white poppies in her flower bed at the front of her house. The police raided her and ripped them all up and took them away. She wasn't charged with growing or producing but she was told that she should not ever grow them again, by the prosecuting attorney. I guess they didn't charge her because she was like 80 years old, at the time.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 4:15AM
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This one guy Swim , back in '86 he was growing 3 acres of poison sumac imterbred with bright red somniferums ( strictly for the beautiful flowers to look at in the garden) - he has really poor eyesight so he has to grow such a large field full just to get a good look at the bright colorful flowers . & Deer kept eating them , so he spliced their jeans with the Poison Sumac . Anyhow one day he tripped accidently & fell on & smashed a poppy plant before work ( & he broke out in hives too !!) . He was randomly drug-tested by N.A.S.A. that day & he tested positive for opiatatoes from the smashed poppy bulb on his forehead , or the smell of it . Or maybe one of those tiny seeds flew up his nose on accident .

Anyhow - he got fired & beaten badly about the head & shoulders by security , they pulled him off of the lineup right at the start of countdown & guess what - because they replaced him on the flight at the last minute with some rookie - the space shuttle crashed !! - SO don't EVER grow poppies , or eat poppy bagels or muffins & especially don't fall & trip on them , or your boss would be well within his rights to beat you unmercilessfully & wave your urine test all over in your face before posting your face on the internet . With your urine test . And your face .

So if someone ever offers you a poppy bagel , or some stupid old lady bakes you some poppyseed muffins - quickly rip up their gardens & punch them in the adams apple or kick their testicullies to disable them until you can get the authorities to come & beat them properly !! Your'are all BAD BAD people !!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 9:55PM
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Has anyone ever succeeded in growing Poppys in doors and if so what type of lights did you use for the light source . I am curious if indoor cultivation is possibal . I think people should be allowed to have the right to grow whatever crops they want to grow regardless of what type of crop it is . I just think it's stupid that the law prohibits people from growing certain crops that can help some people who are suffering from severe pain and the plants can be used for medicinal purposes in relieveing peoples suffering from certain types of pain . As a result of my history with leukemia , some of the medications I have been on in the past for my cancer has damaged my bones making them week and brital ,causing me to have such severe pain and I can't afford paying a hundred dollars for every doctors visit everytime I need a refill on my pain meds , these days all doctors care about is money and thats the only way some people can get there meds if you show the doctor a bill with Benjamin Franklins face on it then they will have no problem in giving you a prescription for pain meds , so the point is not everyone can afford to pay these money hungry doctors thats why I think growing plants such as opium and even canabis should be legal to grow , or at least have some sort of plan to give certain people licenses to grow these crops for medicinal reasons to help people who suffer from severe pain and not just for pain for other reasons such as nausia that people get from chemo for there cancer . This idea should be taken seriously for people that can benefit from this issue .

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 4:28AM
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To all you people that think if you eat a roll that contains poppy seeds and can cause your drug test to show up positive is a myth, well I would like to say that this is not a myth , it is actualy true you urine can test positive during a drug test after eating a bagel or any other type of breads that contain poppy seeds . The myth was confirmed on the show myth busters on the Sci Fi channel . The funny thing is the guys from the show first went to to a doctor and asked him for his opinion on this matter and the doctor said that you would have to eat like a hundred poppy seed bagels for the drug test to show up positive but they proved that stupid doctor wrong because they tested it on a kid , the kid ate one poppy seed bagel and his drug test was positive for opiates . I bet the doctor felt stupid after seeing the results .

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 5:13PM
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or anyone else who knows

"According to the Controlled Substances Act, every part of the opium poppy except the seed is illegal, including the seed pods and growing seed pods, but some companies do import dried seed pods for decorative purposes."

can you give me the section of the Controlled substance act that says they are illegal?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 2:00AM
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i heard its possible but i've never grown it. check this site:

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 2:05AM
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I was trying to find out if this is actually illegal to grow or just a myth and I found this on the DEA website.

Here is a link that might be useful: DEA Website

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 2:21PM
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ole_dawg(7 UpCountry SC)

Every little old lady here in the UpCountry who has a flower garden has PS growing in it, at least a few plants. When I was a kid my aunt in TN always had it in her garden and when we visited I remember that there were the green balls on the end of the stems. I don't think my aunt was a grower or pusher as her son was a Dr. and she could get all the drugs she wanted. Man I also remembered the cherry tree in her yard and I cried the year we visited and it was dead. No more killer cherry pie for me.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 8:30PM
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ole_dawg(7 UpCountry SC)


    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 8:35PM
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Concerning the drug test controversy, and questions, and this actually applies to other instances where a derivative or byproduct of an illegal substance that, in itself, is legal to consume or use, is that most drug tests do not test for the actual component that it shows a positive for, but instead another compound found only in that product, such as the poppy seeds as discussed here, and the use of some OTC preparations which also may contain the specific compound tested for, even though it does not actually contain the opiate in this case.

You see testing directly for the alkaloids is a practice in futility since when it is metabolized, the body changes it's makeup, and also breaks it down and eliminates it rather quickly, hence the need to be prescribed "take very 6 hours as needed for pain" so when they formulated these drug tests, they formulated them to test for other longer lasting, indigestible compounds, found only in that particular "source" of the drug in question, so this is why eating (yes it doesn't even take an entire one) poppyseed bagel will test positive, even thought there is really no measurable alkaloids on or in the seeds themselves (opium latex is water soluble, therefore easily washed off)however the seeds DO carry the tested for compound in residual byproducts of the drug's source, and because there is this discrepancy error margin, by law, any company that terminates an employee due to a positive test result, must offer a second "clean" control test before reacting in such a manner, because it is an infringement of your rights, in respect to being treated as guilty before proving it, and this is our guaranteed right, living in this country, that all accused are considered innocent "until" proven guilty, especially where a possibly faulty method of testing was used, such as urinalysis, and even hair sample tests, since they hold results much longer since it is being deposited from within the body as the follicle constructs the hair strand.
Because they are not testing for the actual drug's presence, but for the by products left by the body after digesting any portion of that plant, which would result in the actual compound they DO test for.

If not for that most people who use would still pass, because the body processes and eliminates most of the original substance within hours, and sometimes days, unless...yes folks there is a is something that can be stored up to a month or more with in the body's fat cells such as the active ingredient in marijuana, however most alkaloids from opiates and from cocaine to salts like amphetamines, are gone much too quickly for the test to ever catch someone, unless they were practically under the influence at the time of the test or a short time after, maybe just over more than a few hours :), I would consider consulting a lawyer anyone who has recently been fired for such a thing when innocent, unless you still failed a second test, or signed a waiver or contract, or possibly "some" areas of government, that you acknowledged this as their policy and therefore within their rights to terminate you, but unless you were a poor performer, it is likely any of these would allow the verification test given completely randomly or possibly on the spot, since it takes a week to get a result anyway, at which time unless someone was a "routined" personality that ever Wednesday is poppy seed bagel day for morning break, then innocent as this type of person may be, they will test positive again and could lose their job at that point, unless he had this bagel with the employer on a weekly basis because such an alibi is proof enough that they were innocent, but whether they notarized, if you will, the employer would no longer have any obligation to pursue proving their innocence and would be within the law to terminate this person, but if after the time needed to retain and consult (maybe backwards order? LOL) an attorney and then get a court date, if they rule in favor of the employee, they would then be responsible for reimbursing all lost wages by the employee, and possible punitive damages such as loss of promotion interest rates that revert to a ridiculous number should you pay late once, or psychological impact, as well as (my favorite one) because the whole ordeal interfered with their ability to perform for their partner in a satisfactory manner, and get boatloads over the lost wages, because this is one of the most rewarding of these types of padded suits that attorneys love to drive for, since the greater the plaintiffs settlement, the greater their commission or percentage they will get. If you are someone who was wrongfully terminated in these circumstances, don't allow an attorney to push you in to anything more than what you feel is fair, and don't be greedy just because you can be, because once back on the (if you even get it back if you went for too much) job, it would only be a matter of time for them to have a legitimate means to terminate you, so unless you perform above the bar, and now so even more than ever, with literally hundreds of people standing so close behind you to take your place you can feel the breath of the third person behind you on the back of your neck, that employers now hold the deck, and ave complete control of the hands being dealt, since many of those people will do it for less money than you are being paid....pretty scary huh? Well i went in to all this for a reason and aside for a flair for a little drama, those who have mentioned the difficulty in paying for pain management, and other "alternately available" means of managing it on their own, even if you need not go for an office visit, most of the prices I know of, and this is the legal, at the pharmacy price, being around a dollar per pill or dose, now lets do the math, take one tab/cap every six hours for pain, and you DO need to take it at that frequency, that's $120.00 a month, and this is usually combined with one or two other "adjunct" therapies, that may not be quite as much, but still significant enough to impact any number of everyday meals or recreation, that can no longer be afforded, despite not being a luxury or delicacy by any measure.

The reason we may not see the DEA or more so many local law enforcement representatives may not being as responsive to smaller growers in general, is because quite a number of States, based upon test results from other country's research, have much evidence supporting their medical benefit, or serves as an alternative means of providing for oneself, or it has been illegal but is being reconsidered in this new light and may possibly be just ironing out the specifics of what is a viable allowable amount for personal production and under a permit issued in the form of a prescription by a real doctor (meaning one that actually examined you and ran conclusive tests) at which point you would then be legally allowed to produce the specific plant, or byproduct of the plant, within strict parameters, so point is, people with small personal batches will likely never be noticed if they do not do anything else about it that IS still illegal, such as, selling or even giving it to another, carrying it outside of your home unless in an ingestible form, and so on, I can make more up as we go along but I think I have taken enough for you good people's time, thank you for reading through all this I hope this brings the whole picture together in someone's mind and clears up some og the mystery, as it were, oh just one more thing....I used to watch mythbusters, when it first came on, but after 12 or 15 episodes, I stopped because I found many incidences of missed possibilities in quantifying whether something was in fact a myth, where the results were the ones more likely to get more people to watch the show and not truly crack a myth. Just my two cents on their results, not being "wholly" tested in which case the result would be opposite their conclusion.

Ok One many people really mixed mentos and coke? LOL!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 7:54PM
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