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Don't ask why, but when I saw this queston, I thought "why I don't know, I best use some sort of search engine to find out!" And I did, and the DF search engine as usual, failed to deliver, so I went to google and LO AND BEHOLD EROWID shows up first on the responses. And Erowid spoke the following words:
Narcotic Opium poppies are specifically scheduled under U.S. Law. The Controlled Substances Act, Schedule II, lists "Opium poppy and poppy straw" as well as "Concentrate of poppy straw (the crude extract of poppy straw in either liquid, solid or powder form which contains the phenanthrene alkaloids of the opium poppy)". Opium and its constituent chemicals are listed in Schedule II and some derivatives (such as Heroin) are listed in Schedule I.
There is some confusion in the law, however, because opium-producing poppies are widely grown around the US and Canada and the opium poppy seeds are omnipresent in cooking, breads, and deserts. The grey-blue poppy seeds sold in virtually every grocery store in the US contain low levels of opiates (not psychoactive at amounts used in cooking). Poppy pods are widely used in dry flower arrangements.
Law enforcement in the US is somewhat inconsistent about these plants, although there are continual attempts to try to stop them from being sold or grown. If poppies are grown as sources for opiates, there is no question that it violates the CSA. If poppies are purely grown for ornamental purposes, their legal position is somewhat less clear cut, since they are so widely grown and available.
Opium for legal commercial pharmaceutical use is grown with special government licenses around the world, although very little of it is grown inside the US. Large scale underground opium poppy growing is reported to take place in Mexico, Afghanistan, and many other countries in Asia. Much of the produced opium is converted into heroin because it is easier to ship and commands a higher price than raw opium.
(f) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section,
the Administrator shall permit, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 952(a)(1) or
(a)(2)(A), the importation of approved narcotic raw material (opium,
poppy straw and concentrate of poppy straw) having as its source:
(6) Hungary, and
(g) At least eighty (80) percent of the narcotic raw material
imported into the United States shall have as its original source
Turkey and India. Except under conditions of insufficient supplies of
narcotic raw materials, not more than twenty (20) percent of the
narcotic raw material imported into the United States annually shall
have as its source Spain, France, Poland, Hungary and Australia.
WOW that was so difficult I don't think I could answer any more questions today, I must rest. But before I go, how bout YOU do some reading and learn about your second question on your own. The internet is incredible unless you are too lazy to use it properly, then it is just embarrassing to your self and others.
Not only that, Potter, but the very page someone would have to go to in order to post this question ( the Opium & Poppy Forum ) has threads listed in it relating to law; one, labeled "Law: Why are poppy pods available in Arizona & Washington?" is within the top 10 threads listed on the page; a quick perusal of said post would uncover information on legality & links for further reading. Even better, there's a post further down (but still on page 1!) called Getting Busted For Possession of Poppy Straw, which I bet also has a lot of information in it!
Enough being a smartass on my part. One really needs to do at least basic research on their own, then ask questions if they can't find the answer/don't understand the answer. Posting "my friends say XYZ" is NOT "proper research". Also, never listen to what your friends say in regards to law & order, especially when your freedom is potentially on the line! Can't even trust an internet forum to give you the "right" information, unless they back it up with links/cites to the appropriate sections of law.
To answer the questions:
No, opium poppies (Papaver Somniferum) are not legal in the USA in ANY FORMAT. Growing them is ILLEGAL (unless you have a special DEA license & you're growing them to supply poppy seeds for food or opium for the medical industry - neither of which really goes on in the USA anyhow). The *ONLY* legal part is the seeds, and that's only for food. Ornamental dried pods "for flower arranging" is ILLEGAL. The poppies your grandmother grows out back just because they are pretty? ILLEGAL.
That said, do people grow them & not get in trouble? Of course. Do people use them in dried flower arrangements & not get in trouble? Of course. Do people smoke pot on a regular basis & not get in trouble? Of course. Does this make it any more legal? Nope.
We've recently been having some discussions on the legality of poppy flowers/pods that contain opium alkaloids but AREN'T Papaver Somniferum (yes, they exist!). You may want to check them out, because they also discuss the law, link to the laws & try to figure out what exactly is lawful & what the risks are. It's still all speculation, though.
In regards to the last question, no one can really answer that. If someone enjoys oxycodone and/or hydrocodone, they will probably enjoy most other opiates as well, including opium, which is what one is getting from poppy pods (it's making an opium & water infusion - ie., tea). This is an area where one would just have to do more research in this forum (specifically, Opium & Poppy Forum that you're currently in) reading experience reports (especially ones comparing opium to other opiates) and making an informed decision from there. *shrug*
Although DEA has re-affirmed that Afganistan is not a legal source for poppy products, a friend who I haven't met yet claims that 85% of all poppy seed used for cooking purposes and found in all grocery stores comes from Afgani sources. This is a second-hand source and I cannot confirm, though. Maybe a non-Somniferum variety?
SWIM is slightly bothered that some members can't take the time to Google basic information. BTW, SWIYou's friend happens to be wrong. Most seeds are imported from Tasmanian and other nations legal poppy production as a by-product.