Canadians can’t grow coca in our gardens, but we can grow pot (1), and my grandmother could toss a thousand ‘Papaver rhoeas’ (2) poppy seeds into the garden at her assisted living facility which, as far as I know, would make her the newest Afghan warlord.
While not all poppies are designed alike, all do have some level of opium (3). In fact your average store bought poppy plant will generate enough to act as “a mild sedative” (4)… if you grew ten of them, harvested the dry seeds and used them to make tea (5)… not that I’d suggest doing that.
It’s the “commercial production” of poppy seeds in Canada that’s prohibited, no matter how minuscule the amount of opium. Even production of poppy seeds for bagels is prohibited.
One hundred per cent of the culinary poppy seeds consumed in North America are imported largely from the Czech Republic and Turkey (6).
So remember: “…prohibition never outlawed [the farmer’s] apple trees (nor did it threaten [his] property with confiscation); it wasn’t until [he] made his cider that he crossed the line (7).”
…these shots are a few years old.
(1) Gov’t of Canada: ‘What you need to know about cannabis’ [link]
(2) The DEA Museum: ‘Cannabis, Coca, & Poppy: Nature’s Addictive Plants’ [link]
(3) Royal Botanic Gardens: ‘A Tale Of Two Poppies’ [link]
(4) Wikipedia: ‘Papaver rhoeas’ [link]
(5) US National Library of Medicine: ‘Poppy Seed Tea: A Short Review and Case Study’ [link]
(6) iPolitics.ca: ‘Company tries to crack lucrative poppy seed market, but Health Canada standing in the way’ [link]
(7) ‘Opium Made Easy’ By Michael Pollan: Harper’s Magazine, April 1, 1997 [link]
…click on a photo to get the carousel going.