Who knows? They aren't very rabid about them, I know, I've had them
out in my front garden right on the street for years. Every once in
awhile some badge-heavy decides to go on a rampage and it hits the
paper. I've got datura, for that matter, right out there, too.
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
if you are taxpayer and have to pay for enforcement or put up with any of
fallout (e.g. overzealous people looking for their superhero costume in an
okra patch), it should make sense. and when it doesn't, people will
usually just let it slide, because there's really nothing you can do about
Please find the clipping quick! And where exactly is "around here"? If you
live on Malta, yep, they're illegal even as garden ornmentals!
US FEDERAL law makes it legal to rip up gardens in this manner on the
mere suspicion of illegal intent, but without proof of illegal intent,
there are no actual cases that can ever come to court; & local police
wasting enforcement time & money harrassing people for legal plants would
probably cause a few heads to roll, & it wouldn't be any gardener's head.
What you describe is perfectly plausible by the existing federal law.
Over-enthusiastic law enforcement is backed up by a law that permits such
enthusiasiam on the basis of suspicions alone, & suspicion is a hard thing
to quantify since it's in the mind of the enforcer. But no actual cases
can result for the courtroom in the absence of misuse, for no law is
broken. If it were just generally illegal to grow them, rest assured, it
wouldn've gotten somewhere.
-paghat the ratgirl
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
While I appreciate that the reading and interpretation of laws can be
very difficult, and I don't have a lot of time to try to sort this all
out for Paghat, I felt that I should post a short message here stating
that there is no question that Papaver somniferum is *technically*
illegal in the U.S.
The Opium Poppy - Papaver somniferum (both terms are used in the list
of schedules) are Schedule II in the United States. Schedule II
substances are illegal to buy or possess without a valid prescription,
and are illegal to sell without a DEA license (eg. both opium and
cocaine are schedule II). There are also significant DEA controls on
how Schedule II materials are produced and stored.
But laws are only as strong as enforcement. In the U.S., the
ornamental cultivation of P. somniferum is just about never
prosecuted. Now we could argue about the definition of "illegal" if
you'd like. It's an interesting question. If a law is never
enforced, is it still a law? But that's just semantics.
A few more comments below...
snipped-for-privacy@netscapeSPAM-ME-NOT.net (paghat) wrote in message
Legal statements are all about definitions of terms. How terms used
in the law are officially and legally defined...defines the law.
This is a big misunderstanding of the Scheduling system. Each
Schedule has it's own restrictions and requirements associated with
it. Schedule I substances are unique in that they are unable to be
prescribed by a doctor. But it's still illegal to possess a Schedule
II substance without a prescription. The best illustration of this is
the fact that both Cocaine and Opium are Schedule II.
Heh. If you think that laws are coherent...you clearly haven't read
them very closely. It is *common* for laws to conflict and/or for
laws to be interpreted or enforced differently by different
jurisdictions or at different times.
In describing laws, it is important to cite the text of the law, the
various interpretations of the law, and the actual manner in which the
laws are enforced. This gives a more complete picture of the status
of any given law.
The laws against them are not generally otherwise enforced. That does
not mean they are not illegal.
Please cite the passage of the CSA where it differentiates between
different purposes for growing Papaver somniferum. If such a passage
exists, I'd very much like to read it.
Important to note that the controlled substance act is amended
regularly. New substances are added and wordings and definitions are
changed. Even the version you point out is not current. It is the
schedules (I-V) that define what is currently illegal.
Again, just to be clear...plants and chemicals which are in Schedule
II - V are also illegal to possess without a precription. Penalties
vary, depending on the schedule and the quantity possessed...but they
can still be very much illegal to possess.
You can visit the DEA's list of scheduled substances at:
Search for "poppy" and you'll see the entry for "Opium Poppy - Papaver
And, while I'm mostly going to ignore the insulting comments about
those at Erowid.org being stoners and pro-drug...please understand
that we are serious about our work, dedicated to providing accurate
information, and are certainly not "stoners".
While it's nice to see someone posting replies who has a deep abiding
interest in recreational drugs (Usenet being the ultimate democracy after
all), all you really needed to do was quote the relevant portion of the
Act that makes it perfectly clear the plant itself illegal. You never
have, & never will, because there is no part of the Controlled Substance
Act that states this.
Note 1) The Act itself is clear as to what concentration of specific
opiates would have to be present for a substance to be illegal; 2) which
for opiates is specifically "90 milligrams per dosage unit, with an equal
or greater quantity of an isoquinoline alkaloid of opium" required to
reach a level of illegality; & 3) no poppy reaches the concentrations that
would define them as illegal.
The Act does make them illegal IF AND WHEN they are used for an illegal
purpose (or attempted to be used for an illegal purpose; gardened opium
poppies are not actually a source of opiates, but attempting to discover
otherwise would be enough to render them suddenly illegal).
[more unsubstantiated stuff clipped]
> just to be clear...plants and chemicals which are in Schedule
Was your qualifier "CAN be" a confession that you're aware they're
otherwise legal, or just bad writing?
Again, you can make this statement in your own words, but you have neither
here nor at your web pages quoted it from the Act, because it isn't there.
It amounts to what you believe, or what you have heard within the
recreational drug advocacy community. If you could've quoted it in law you
would've done so just now -- indeed, you would have done so long before
now, but you never could do so because it is a phantom law.
You have not referenced a law, nor even a list of banned substances, but
only a list derived from the Controlled Subtance Act. The list is not a
law, & the list explicitely states that it includes parent sources of
scheduled drugs ( Papaver is NOT a drug but is a parent source of many
drugs; it is only a "scheduled drug" insofar as IF it were attempted to be
used illegally, that would make it illegal; it is otherwise not a
controlled substance & gardeners & growers & nurseries, unlike scientific
researchers, are not required to register their use, as no law even
regulates such use, let alone bans it).
If any congressional Act actually states that opium poppies grown for
ornamental purposes is illegal, you should quote that precisely. The
extant law makes it very clear that intent is part of the law. Hell, even
steer manure & motor oil are illegal if you intend to make bombs out of
it, not otherwise. If opium poppies were illegal it wouldn't be possible
to buy them in every county & city of this nation from above-board garden
centers & growers; if such a banning law existed, it would be easily
quoted & sourced. The urban folklore on this is rampant because amateur
journalists & mistaken editorialists spread urban folklore as truth. You
have failed to quote a law because you couldn't find one, & yet you
persist in believing it must exist somewhere in an Act from which it
cannot be quoted. No heroin addict or opium smoker in America ever got
their shit from gardened opium poppies, & while laws can be very stupid,
the CAS isn't quite that stupid.
Papaver is included as a Schedule II "drug" (though it is not a drug)
because in any medical or scientific experiments done legally with
Papaver, it is that context controlled by law; & if any opiate salt or
chemical is extracted or synthesized from it, that too is illegal unless
registered for scientific purpose. Iin these contexts only the opium poppy
is itself illegal, just like possession of bags of manure becomes illegal
if you intended to make bombs out of it, but manure is otherwise yours to
revel in, & opium poppies are legal to sell, buy, & grow. This is
multiply-explained in the Acts' numerous redundancies, yet in all its
redundancies, it found no room to state that the plant is illegal in any
other context, or in all contexts, but only in the explicit contexts
stated. The law is NOT "schizophrenic" as your website article so absurdly
puts it; said schizophrenia is the article-writer's projection born of a
confusing their superimposing on the the CAS some deeply believed urban
folklore that just isn't in the actual legislation
The Act's preamble "This law is a consolidation of numerous laws
regulating the manufacture and distribution of narcotics, stimulants,
depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids, and chemicals used in the
illicit production of controlled substances" is not confusing in this
matter. It leaves out reference to the plants per se, because if plants
with a POTENTIAL for extracting those sorts of drugs would include scores
of plants I can harvest in any field or forest or desert growing wild, &
only those which function as drugs as picked & misused fit any legal
definition of "drugs." Peyote would in & of itself without further
processing fit the Acts' preamble about the Act's purpose & content.
Marijuana, too, fits the preamble, without further processing. But opium
poppies are harmless & you cannot get you stoned or sick on them without
considerable processing. If such processing is attempted, despite the fact
that temperate-grown poppies lack the required alkaloids, the poppies
would upon that mere attempt of an illegal usage come under the Controlled
Substance Act & become illegal due to the misuse & abuse. To extract or
synthesize opiates, all sorts of otherwise legal chemicals would be
required, & each & every one of them would become illegal because of the
illegal usage, not otherwise.
Since it is a topic close to your heart, perhaps you'd do well to hire an
expert attorney willing to put his name to a little article which would
sort out the strictly LEGAL issues for you apropos of the actual CSA, so
you can correct your website's misinformation & cease to confuse folklore
& non-legal lists & editorials for the actual law! You clearly are no
expert, not even slightly expert; I cannot claim to be an expert either,
though I certainly can see that no part of the Act bans the cultivation of
poppies for ornamental purposes. But since neither of us are experts,
perhaps you should hire one, so that a definitive redaction of the Act &
its meaning would be available for all the dumbass folklorists out there
who can't tell fantasy from law.
Think about it kiddo -- if you could've cited this alleged law FROM the
Act itself, you wouldn't be desparately avoiding any actual quotations
from it. The fact that poppies are cited as a source of scheduled drugs, &
fall under the Act if they are used for any drug-related purpose, does not
make poppies themselves illegal. The test is as I said it would be: If it
were true that poppies were illegal but the law doesn't have time or
energy to stop nurseries from selling them & gardeners from growing them,
then take some marijuana plants down to the same nurseries & sell them to
the same gardeners & see what happens. When a plant IS illegal, there is
not the slightest hint of reluctance to prosecute the matter to the full
extent of the law.
Perhaps a little less deadpan seriousness & a lot more humor would serve
Personally I collect opium literature & hashish literature, & I hugely
enjoy its influence on art. Unfortunately the lives of the influenced
authors & artists were invariably harmed by their habi. While some of the
beauty they left behind redeemed them, they most certainly did require
that redemption, for since little else about them was admirable. Geza
Csath was one of the world's greatest surrealist writers inspired by his
laudenum addiction; but it was not admirable him sitting at his kitchen
table in his own shit until his ass was infected with soars. Anna Kavan
turned her pain into some of the most beautiful magic realist literature
of all time, but her paranoia made life hell for her, & people who did not
know that she was shooting up every time she had a paranoid fit & returned
from the bathroom much better just thought she was crazy.
So recreational drug advocacy is never undertaken by anyone worthy of
respect, though it is an equal or greater folly for legislators to make
such things as recreational drug use & suicide illegal. So while I
disrespect the thuggish policing authorities more than the nitwit stoners,
only the tiny handful who succeed at something spectacularly creative
within their drug abuse are wholly forgiveable, whether it's something
genuinely great like Poe created before he died for his addictions, or
something rather stupid but enjoyable like the Fabulous Furry Freak
Brothers -- which at least notices that it's dorks who recreate with
drugs. Those are not "insulting comments" but the truth.
-paghat the ratgirl
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
I would think if a farmer dedicates his farm, say 1000 acres to P.somniferum,
would be doing it for heroine production and would be in harsh violation of the
law. Seeds are sold in many catalogs for P. somniferum. Illegal or not, you'd
need quite a production company in order to grow enough to make a dent in the
heroine industry which comes from the middle east. No war on anything has been
able to stop production of heroine in the middle east, and it never will.
On 24 Apr 2004 16:58:07 -0700, bb email@example.com (Fire Erowid) opined:
my name is pam too. just felt like saying that.
about half of the ones i am growing are the illegal kind. i just foun
out. p. somniferum. v. persian white. i am soon going to move t
another houselhold and planted a full garden, of which most of th
stuff is blooming already or about to. the poppies however are not, an
now that i know that they are illegal, i am wondering if i will get t
see them bloom before i move in september, and have to rip them out s
that the next tenants dont get in a heap of trouble. they are currentl
about six inches tall with about twenty leaves or so each. i plante
them in febuary. i live in florida, and they get a lot of sun. doe
anyone have any experience with these, and might be able to tell me ho
long it takes for them to bloom? i know that the other poppies
planted, the california one, will take a full year, meaning that i wil
not see them bloom. :
posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
<< I believe we aren't allowed to grow P. somniferum in bulk, even for
culinary use. Seeds in bulk (for spice sellers and bakers) are
Probably some from the Czech Republic, where they are also illegal. On drives
out into the county my Czech friends would point them out. They're a real
staple of Czech pastries--if you ate a poppy-seed kolach then had to produce a
urine specimen, DEA would put you under the jail.
from firstname.lastname@example.org (Zemedelec) contains these words:
Poppy seeds (and plants) are perfectly legal here in the UK, and we
eat loads of them on/in bread and cakes etc. AFAIK, heroin/morphine is
derived from the sap of P somniferum, not its seeds. Just as toxic
substances are present in certain parts of potatoes, apples, tomatoes,
or rhubarb, and not in other parts of the same plant.
nope. that's wrong.
Papaver oriental is the perennial poppy; salmon, pink, red, and white.
Papaver somniferum is the opium poppy, an annual, pink flowers only.
Papaver nudicaule is icelandic poppy, sometimes called champagne bubbles;
pink, yellow, white, and orange.
Eschultzia california is california poppy; orange or yellow; hybrid thai
silk poppies, ruffled pink, salmon, yellow, white, and red flowers.
Actually, papaver somniferum is available in pink, lavender, white, and
stained-glass window red. I have heard that here is one available now in a
blackish red as well. It is also availabe in single, half-double, fully
double, and frilly center versions. However, pink is probably the most
common color, with red second.
Yes, I realize I mistakenly said the wrong thing. I knew what I wanted to say,
but I still wrote the incorrect thing. I've been chastised by someone I
considered a friend, all because I said I like someone on this newsgroup.
The extent of immaturity I have experienced online is getting worse and worse.
I post less and less. It's hateful, angry, and spiteful. I don't have it in me
As a recent chastiser, I feel obliged to correct any mistaken
impression by other posters that you might be referring to myself. I
have never done anything to deserve the repulsive insult of being
considered your friend.
Oh yes you do. When someone you like posts immature, spiteful verbal
abuse you give your encouragement and approval.
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