Friday, April 22, 2011
Myths and Truths about Opium Poppy Seeds
Author: Tony Tracy
For those that are fascinated about the origins of the opium plant, and are interested in cultivating their own garden of the infamous Papaver Somniferum plant, finding them online is not too difficult a task.
There are many website retailers that make these types of opium poppies seeds available but they usually state that they are for ornamental or baking purposes. Although, it may be assumed that a good number of buyers may be purchasing them for other reasons as well this does not make them illegal.
It is altogether plausible to successfully cultivate opium poppy pods directly from the seeds which are easily available in the spices aisle of your local neighbourhood grocery store. Furthermore, poppy plants can be obtained from nurseries, specializing in the growth of such popular plants, but keep in mind that the specific kind of poppy species that grow opium may not be available.
American drug laws do not differentiate between the opium poppy plant and opium itself. So if one ever attempts to cultivate opium plants on their own they become liable and will be charged with a felony for possessing Level II narcotics. Some examples of such narcotics are methamphetamine, cocaine and morphine. Whether you are growing a single poppy for fun or 50 poppies for crafting, either way you can still be charged with a felony for possession according to USA laws. However, one does not need to worry too much as it is very unlikely that they will be charged for mistakenly growing opium poppy plants. Rest assured that there is kind of a small loophole where there has to be a certain degree of knowledge which is incorporated into the law. If one unintentionally participates in illegal behaviour it may strengthen the defence of that person should it ever come to a point where they are charged. Nevertheless, if one knowingly grows opium poppies, regardless of the fact that they intended on cultivating them for opium or not, they have disobeyed the law and may be subject to stern penalties and punishment.
One has to be acutely aware that this type of ‘possession' is only applicable if you have the specific species called Papaver Somniferum growing amongst your crop. If you are entertaining the thought of legitimately cultivating poppies from poppy seeds, there are a variety of other types that are available which do not contain any trace of opium at all. A good example of such a poppy seed species is the popular the California poppy. The type of weather that is the most suitable for poppy plants extends from a dry desert all the way to prairie conditions. Since it is such a versatile plane, varieties of poppies can be found in almost every corner of the world.
Opium poppy seeds that have been properly cultivated can also be observed to mature into a multitude of beautiful colors and shades. In addition, planting such opium poppies seeds are a very good patriotic expression since the poppy flower has frequently been used to represent veterans of wars throughout history. This reason for this is that it is partially due to the famous poem that was created about Flanders Field in Belgium. Organizations or war veterans have utilized the poppy for an array of fundraising opportunities or even meaningful recognitions. The poppy flowers' popularity may also be attributed to the continual stories and myths in regards to poppies on the war torn battle fields of different countries. Based on the unyielding myth, these particular opium plants once stood snow white but changed to a blood red color after a fierce battle between two adversaries.
This type of law and penalty may seem a bit severe as one can be charged a felony simply by growing the plant but the law is severe for a particular reason. Opium, also known as opiates, has been problem to humanity for many hundreds of years ever since its discovery. The ancient civilization of Mesopotamia was most likely the first nation to discover and actually grow poppies specifically for the purpose of opium which can be documented all the way back to around 3000 BC. They had actually given a name to this distinct flower which literally means ‘joy plant'. This name obviously gives the impression that the original use for opium poppies was not only for medicinal purposes but rather recreational.
As time progressed doctors began to discover the medicinal purposes of opium poppies seeds, which ultimately gave the flower the name ‘Somniferum' which means sleep inducing. Moreover, these doctors also uncovered other uses of the opium plant such as the effective pain relieving properties that opium possesses. Since opium poppy seeds were finally beginning to be used for proper medicinal purposes, a whole new world of uses opened up and the opium poppy pod plant found itself in almost every known medicine, elixir or potion. Even though the opium may have cured a patient from whatever afflicted them but now the patient had other problems, namely an addiction to the opiates. As a result, the consumption of opium started to grow rapidly and the shift from medicinal to recreational purposes reared its ugly head once again. Since opium poppy seeds are considered to be a natural form of product there are currently many doctors who have no issues in prescribing the drug and patients have no anxieties about consuming the medication.
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