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Poppy Tea Tied to Two Deaths in Colo.

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Two young residents of Boulder, Colo., recently died after drinking tea made from the pods of opium poppies, the source plant for heroin and other opiate drugs.

The Boulder Camera reported July 21 that Jeffery Joseph Bohan, 19, was  found dead after a night of drinking poppy-pod tea; toxicology tests in the incident are still pending. In February, 20-year-old Alex McGuiggan died in a similar incident; the coroner's office later determined that he had ingested a fatal amount of opium from drinking poppy-pod tea.

“Poppy-pod tea is an opiate; it is dangerous,” said Jeanette Cunning of the Boulder County Drug Task Force. “It seems like people think it's pretty harmless. But it's not an extremely well-known drug, and people don't really know the effects of it yet.”

The pods, which are legal to possess, can be ordered on the internet, including eBay. But ingesting them is illegal. The tea is said to be bitter, but users say it causes feeling of relaxation. “The problem is, people are probably making (the tea) themselves and don't know how strong it is,” said Boulder-area resident Robert Hewitt, 22.

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