Opium poppy tea a concern in northeast Calgary

By chillinwill · Aug 27, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Police seized these opium poppy heads from a grocery store in southeast Edmonton last week. Police seized these opium poppy heads from a grocery store in southeast Edmonton last week. (CBC)

    A drug made from opium poppies is gaining popularity among Indo-Canadians in Calgary.

    Doda is created when the poppy heads are ground and made into a tea. It produces a quick high followed by a sense well being. The drug is being sold in flea markets, food shops and flower stores in some northeast Calgary neighbourhoods.

    Peter Facchini, who teaches plant biochemistry at the University of Calgary, said doda is potentially as harmful as heroin.

    "If you are a regular user — drinker of the doda tea — then that addiction can certainly take control of you as much as using heroin does," he said.
    'A major problem'

    Laddie Boparai, a store manager for OK General Food Store in Calgary's northeast, nodded and smiled when asked about doda. He doesn't sell the drug, but said it is for sale in other stores in the area and it's cheap.

    "Available in Calgary? Yes," he said. "It's a major problem because I hear a lot of complaints from the ladies and their families, and some say 'I must have it otherwise I can't work.' [It's an] addiction. Some people quit 20 years ago, starting taking that thing [again because] it's available."

    Last week, an Edmonton man was charged amid allegations he accepted a package with more than 70 kilograms of dried opium poppy at his grocery store. Police in Calgary said the illegal drug isn't prevalent and they are focusing their efforts on the sale and use of cocaine and marijuana.

    But Balwinder Kahlon, a Punjabi community leader, said doda is a huge concern. He is organizing rallies and speaking about the drug on a Punjabi radio station and in local schools.

    "Some people, their married life was getting affected. Some people are losing their jobs because they are addicted to this. It's affecting all corners. Our approach is to tell them it's not good for you."

    The opium poppy plant and its derivatives — with the exception of poppy seeds — are illegal to possess in Canada, though many flower shops sell it and it is often cultivated in home gardens.

    August 24, 2009
    CBC News

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  1. Miss Alice
    Swim lives in Calgary. Maybe swim should pick some up.

    Just kidding!

    But it's hard to imagine that the tea is so addicting, when it probably varies quite largely from traditional heroin/opium, and is likely much weaker unless you make a really strong batch of tea.

    So you quit taking it for 20 years and start again just because it's avaliable? Sigh, don't people know self-restriction, especially if their addiction has already long subsided ..
  2. CrookedEye
    3-6 jumbo pods will give most people a nod, and the tea is no less addicting than the drugs in purified form. Morphine and codeine are the main alkaloids present, and regardless if they are in pill form, or pod form, they are still just as addictive. Pods that SWIM has ordered seem to be pretty similar in potency, relative to the size, although he hasn't tried multiple strains.

    Either way, they are a cheaper, easier to find alternative to pills, and they tend to affect SWIM for a longer time (12-24 hours per dose) than common synthetics like oxy/hydrocodone. For pain maintenance, they seem to work well, requiring one or two doses a day, and often cost less than the prescription medications that doctors give.

    The nod from pods, also, seems to be more pleasing for SWIM. He nods off into a dreamlike state with pods, while the synthetics and heroin often have him just nod off into blackness. He has reacted in this dream state and snapped out of his nod, where when snapping out of a nod from synthetics, he doesn't tend to remember any dreams. This could be unique to SWIM, as he hasn't read about this from others, but it has been his experience.
  3. shembelial
    Swim lives in Montreal and has been to many flower shops. Some carry pods as decorations. Swim has tried these many times and can certainly confirm that they are almost as potent as raw O. Swim has grown poppies and also found O on the street. Swim has noted that fresher pods are more potent and size isn t nessecarily a factor in potentcy. For about a couple hundred dollars it is possible to get 350 pods! Much cheaper than other purer forms of this drug...
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