Alexander McGuiggan, a 20-year-old University of Colorado student who died last month, died after drinking "opium tea," police and the Boulder County Coroner said today.
"The cause of death is a morphine overdose, and the manner of death is an accident," said Tom Faure, Boulder County's coroner.
Police department spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said investigators believe McGuiggan and others had acquired poppy plants -- which are available legally over the Internet -- and were boiling either pods or seeds to make intoxicating tea.
Police believe McGuiggan knew that the tea he was drinking was made of opiates, Huntley said.
"What he may not have been as aware of was the dangers of what he was ingesting," she said.
The Boulder County Drug Task Force is investigating other people who may have been involved in "the procurement of the tea, and the making of the tea," Huntley said. Those people could face charges, she said.
By Howard Pankratz
March 20, 2009
The Denver Post