Click photo to enlarge
Jeffery Joseph Bohan from a Fairview High Yearbook photo.

BOULDER, Colo. -

A 19-year-old graduate of Fairview High School was found dead in a Boulder home Tuesday after drinking poppy-pod tea, brewed from the plant from which opium is derived, police said.

Jeffery Joseph Bohan, who graduated from Fairview in 2008, was found by his 21-year-old brother about 6 a.m. Tuesday in a friend's home in the 4300 block of Hanover Avenue, Boulder police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said.

His cause of death has not been determined, and toxicology tests are pending, Boulder County Coroner Tom Faure said. Foul play is not suspected.

Witnesses told police the brothers drank the psychoactive tea together outside their Navajo Place home, then went to their friend's house to play video games, falling asleep around 4 a.m., Huntley said.

Two hours later, the older brother found Bohan not breathing and called 911. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Family members and neighbors declined to comment Tuesday.

Bohan's death is the second suspected poppy-tea fatality in Boulder this year. On Feb. 22, Alex McGuiggan, 20, was found dead inside his home in the 4300 block of Moorhead Avenue. The Coroner's Office later determined he had ingested fatal quantities of opium from poppy tea brewed at his home.

"Poppy-pod tea is an opiate; it is dangerous," said Jeanette Cunning, a detective with Boulder County's 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.


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She said the tea is derived from sap created when grinding or cutting into the pod of a poppy flower, which contains psychoactive alkaloids including morphine and codeine. Users boil the ground or cut pods in water and drink the bitter-tasting tea, Cunning said.

Users report general feelings of calm and wellbeing, but overdoses can be fatal, according to the Web site www.poppies.org.

Cunning said even poppy seeds, like those found topping muffins or bagels, can be deadly if consumed in huge quantities.

Although the possession of poppy pods is legal, the manipulation of any part of the pod for ingestion is illegal, Cunning said.

The pods are sold through several Web sites. On Tuesday, the Internet auction giant eBay had poppy pods listed at $23.50 each.

The flowers also grow naturally, of course, and Mikey Yamazaki, a 19-year-old student at the University of Colorado, said he once tried to brew tea from pods collected off poppies growing on Boulder open space and yards.

Yamazaki said the drink tastes like weeds, and not very many people "do" it.

His friend, 22-year-old Robert Hewitt, said poppy-pod tea is not very well understood.

"The problem is, people are probably making (the tea) themselves and don't know how strong it is," said Hewitt, who was hanging out on University Hill on Tuesday and gave the Camera Yamazaki's phone number.

The Drug Task Force has been investigating the prevalence and use of poppy-pod tea since the first Boulder death to better understand the drug, but have not released any findings from their investigations.

No arrests have been made in Tuesday's death, which is still under investigation.

Archived comments

Upon skimming my brain registered a word other than "poppy".

Strange but true.

Poor guy.

springerwannab

7/21/2009 4:00:15 PM

Sad, but Charles Darwin comes to mind.

Dudley_DooRight

7/21/2009 4:00:18 PM

I remember a student at CU died of the same cause last year...hopefully it will become known that its a bad idea using opiates unless under the care of a doctor...like michael jackson's

fadetoblack

7/21/2009 4:01:40 PM

Is that legal tea?? Never heard of it. I am guessing its illegal? so how do you get it???

davebks

7/21/2009 4:02:47 PM

I'm not sure the legality of it, but poppy seeds can be ordered over the internet like cannibis seeds or prescription medication from mexico.

fadetoblack

7/21/2009 4:08:19 PM

I used to know this guy and I feel terrible for his family, but it angers me that he died as a result of such a stupid decision.

confusionwitak

7/21/2009 4:10:53 PM

davebks - Poppy pods are like dog poop bags: they are all around us. Check your neighbor's garden.

Dudley_DooRight

7/21/2009 4:11:06 PM

California poppies do not have opiates.

bouldermeister

7/21/2009 4:12:26 PM

No one ever died from drinking marijuana tea.

freethought

7/21/2009 4:28:48 PM

Poppy-mont stikes again

republican_ecologist

7/21/2009 4:29:07 PM

As Sanjay Gupta says about using Diprivan, "don't try this at home".

drewfromboulder

7/21/2009 4:47:14 PM

Posted by freethought:

"No one ever died from drinking marijuana tea."

---

Maybe not directly, but whata you want to bet that he thought the way many pot smokers think? That because it grows naturally makes it is good for you or won't hurt you.

bobcat77

7/21/2009 5:06:36 PM

Posted by Dudley_DooRight:

Sad, but Charles Darwin comes to mind.

Interesting, considering Charles Darwin didn't say anything about death by poppy pod tea, nor did he say anything about survival of the fittest, as you seem to be implying. How about you do some research about the term that spurred mass genocide before you attribute it to a good man, and then come back and tell us what comes to mind.

MK_Love

7/21/2009 5:08:57 PM

MK_Lovey_Dovey_Kiss_Kiss -

Darwin did posit a theory of evolution based on natural selection.

This unfortunate young man, sadly, will not get to reproduce to his full potential as a result of a poor decision.

Such fatally poor decisions by many other individuals have caused the creation of the infamous Darwin Awards.

Where's the love, MK?

Dudley_DooRight

7/21/2009 5:35:37 PM

Anybody wanna bet that I didn't tell you so?

CharlesDarwin

7/21/2009 5:49:18 PM

So, why has poor decision-making not vanished from our species?All those millennia of stupid guys dying early, and yet there are plenty of stupid guys around today. Only a couple million years to go from hairy brutes to modern humans, yet stupidity is alive and well. How much longer until stupidity goes the way of the thick body hair and jutting brow bone?

andy@dickson.org

7/21/2009 6:09:27 PM

"How much longer until stupidity goes the way of the thick body hair and jutting brow bone?"

How high can you count?

CharlesDarwin

7/21/2009 6:24:50 PM

http://www.darwinawards.com/

read up MK before you preach with hate...try to educate..YOURSELF!

he_b_gb@yahoo.com

7/21/2009 6:29:15 PM

Thanks for the instructions....think I will try it now.

Kev

7/21/2009 6:36:39 PM

And you laugh at the people of Longmont. When a Boulderite displays incredible stupidity, it's all sorrow. Hypocrites.

wayward

7/21/2009 6:43:47 PM

And you laugh at the people of Longmont. When a Boulderite displays incredible stupidity, it's all sorrow. Hypocrites.

---

The Daily Camera is a Boulder newspaper.Get over it.

bageldaze

7/21/2009 6:56:45 PM

I think Kev just spelled out all the good this article did for mankind.

uraugly12

7/21/2009 7:20:40 PM

Darwin for sure.Oh well.I guess he received the ultimate consequence.

msw3410

7/21/2009 9:44:29 PM

"boulder man dies after playing video games"

would be equally factual.

assigning causality is irresponsibly negligent sensationalism.

being a scaremongering mouthpeice for the "drug task force" is so unethical as to be beneath contempt.

have a nice day...

sirhan

7/21/2009 9:56:44 PM

note to self - dont drink tea in the 4300 block

onanotherplain

7/21/2009 10:12:27 PM

Casual use of opiates can result in utter disaster. Regular users can gauge their dosages and have apparently higher tolerances. Years ago, I had to say goodbye to my kid brother David who smoked an opiate derivative on a piece of foil with "friends" and died in his sleep soon after. He only had a trace of drugs in his system, but that was all that was needed for a bad reaction. He was 30 years old, never to get wiser. My father had to drive all night to tell my mother in person what had happened to her son.

Not a day goes by when I don't wish he was here with me again.

There is always a lot of joking around when something like this happens. It would be nice if his family misses all of your humor. People die from opiates in hospitals, let alone casual unsupervised experimentation at home. It ain't worth it. You may get high or you may die...

Loonybird

7/21/2009 10:36:51 PM

He drank the tea at midnight, played video games, etc., and died 5 hours later?

Something doesn't add up. An opiate overdose does not happen 5 hours after ingestion.There is much more to this story, other than the fiction invented by the Daily Scamera meant to scare you and keep you afraid and consuming like good little Eichmans.

zedlepplin

7/21/2009 10:39:09 PM

"said Hewitt, who was hanging out on University Hill on Tuesday and gave the Camera Yamazaki's phone number."

----

Way to rat out your friend, friendo.

FreeThinker

7/21/2009 11:16:36 PM

Others here beat me to mentioning the annual Darwin Awards, for which this poor guy is, regrettably, a prime candidate.

What do people not get about the term "opiates"?

1axel

7/21/2009 11:51:27 PM

bageldaze - The Daily Camera is a Boulder newspaper. Get over it.

So that gives you the right to be a total douchbag to anyone outside of Boulder? Typical micromind thinking.

Try and wrap your micromind around the fact that the DC is a Boulder COUNTY paper.

BoulderBurnout

7/22/2009 12:13:15 AM

"How much longer until stupidity goes the way of the thick body hair and jutting brow bone?"

Thick body hair and jutting brow bone haven't completely gone away.Lots of those folks can be found right here making comments about Longmont.

Dr_Belfrey

7/22/2009 12:52:10 AM

Hahahahahahaha......... Longmont is so lame......hahhahahahahahahahaha...... what is not so funny is that there are a lot of bad people in Longmont.Unhappy, negative.A lot of criminals too.I avoid Longmont like the plague.

tunafishsandwich

7/22/2009 2:17:50 AM

I don't understand why it was necessary for the DC to not only tell people how much the seeds will cost but also give the instructions on how to make the potentially deadly tea.At least make folks who want to take that kind of risk work a little bit to do their own research.Maybe they will get lucky and forget how to google. Sheeesh DC, have some class and stop being like a gossipy teenager.

marlasinger

7/22/2009 7:38:56 AM

The only thing missing from this article is the ebay auction number, who wrote this, Julia Childs?

"...take your poppy bud and carefully slice it lengthwise..."

livinlargeinlafalot

7/22/2009 7:47:10 AM

"Posted by MK_Love on July 21, 2009 at 5:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Posted by Dudley_DooRight:

Sad, but Charles Darwin comes to mind.

Interesting, considering Charles Darwin didn't say anything about death by poppy pod tea, nor did he say anything about survival of the fittest, as you seem to be implying."

You really need to get out more.The poster was referring to the Darwin awards, not making some deep philosophical statement.Jeez....

IXLR82

7/22/2009 7:47:50 AM

What? Death by tea? No 4-way meth-induced stabbing? No broken-coffee-cup-through-the ribs? No triacetone triperoxide? You Boulder hippie-wussies have no idea of how to have terminal fun. Give me Longmont any day.

dontboulderizelongmont

7/22/2009 7:56:02 AM

It is really not that hard to die from stuff like this and you don't have to be "stupid".

Plant material can really vary in ingredients so you can order poppies from one place and they will be twice as strong as poppies ordered from another place.

Just takes a bad experiment to do someone in.

RIP

Stiven

7/22/2009 8:02:33 AM

Boulder's best and brightest.

JG

7/22/2009 8:16:09 AM

Natural Selection is exactly Survival of the Fittest.It is strange that a supposed Darwin expert wouldn't understand that.

JG

7/22/2009 8:20:12 AM

"No one ever died from drinking marijuana tea."

No one ever got high from drinking marijuana tea either since marijuana is not water soluble.

fusillijerry

7/22/2009 8:39:50 AM

Posted by davebks on July 21, 2009 at 4:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Is that legal tea?? Never heard of it. I am guessing its illegal? so how do you get it???

Reread the article more carefully.

fusillijerry

7/22/2009 8:41:35 AM

John Aguilar, most of the time, posters complain that the article isn't detailed enough and the reporter hasn't done research. As you have surely by now concluded, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.

monkeys

7/22/2009 8:45:57 AM

hahaha Boulderites are such idiots

dutchbeefy

7/22/2009 9:02:39 AM

Great!!!! Opium poppys growing on Boulder Open Space... Yeah, FANTASTIC!!!!!

Strt56

7/22/2009 9:15:02 AM

Doubt he bought the pods online, opium poppies are in fact growing in many a yard in Boulder. Seen several kids trying to manufacture opium and other drugs direct from the flowers here in Boulder. Maybe they'll start to get the clue : bad idea

getcraziesout

7/22/2009 9:48:44 AM

MK_Love:

Interesting, considering Charles Darwin didn't say anything about death by poppy pod tea, nor did he say anything about survival of the fittest, as you seem to be implying. How about you do some research about the term that spurred mass genocide before you attribute it to a good man, and then come back and tell us what comes to mind.

*****

(ahem...)

"Darwin first used Spencer's phrase "survival of the fittest" as a synonym for "natural selection" in the fifth edition of On the Origin of Species, published in 1869."

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survival_of_the_fittest

donwrege

7/22/2009 10:43:41 AM

(ahem, ahem)...All these folks up tight about Charles Darwin!Have you never heard of the "Darwin awards?"Place tongue firmly in check and count to ten.

klmarkey@comcast.net

7/22/2009 11:00:27 AM

fusillijerrythe THC in mary jane is extracted through heat so hot tea would get someone high actually... your ignorant smug comments are fun though - keep it up

getcraziesout

7/22/2009 11:12:15 AM

Can't believe the ragging on the misfortune of this kid. Do these people have any memory of their own younger years at all. I guess they never did anything dangerous without realizing how lucky they were to get through it.

The kid screwed up and payed the ultimate price. Let him rest in peace.

modu1us@yahoo.com

7/22/2009 11:41:35 AM

"Do these people have any memory of their own younger years at all."

My guess:

1. No they don't remember - because they are still in their 'younger years' arrogant, wet-behind-the-ears, it-could-never-happen-to-me cause I'm too clever brats.

2. Yes they remember but they're still arrogant peter-pan-syndrome brats who like to pretend they never did anything dangerous (or if they did *they* could get away with it cause they're clever and the fact that they survived proves it).

Ironically, both these groups are precisely the ones *most* likely to be in the group that truly earn a Darwin award. When I was younger I heard the same things - literally people who drag raced on the streets blasting someone who died in a simple auto accident based on moderate speeding as stupid while defending their own behavior as ok because they "know what they're doing.'

olokun@forethought.net

7/22/2009 12:02:51 PM

Outlaw everything, drugs, sharp scissors, you name it, and protect stupidity at all costs, because stupidity is a trait that must be preserved and passed on to future generations.

Enough chlorine doesn't exist to fix the gene pool at this point.

angrynative

7/22/2009 1:08:11 PM

bobcat77

Your being overweight and riding a motorcycle are more risky than smoking pot or drinking poppy tea for that matter.

Suck on that you fat f@ck!

Purley_Baker

7/22/2009 1:11:56 PM

He must have been trying to escape the drone of Boulders rich and pretentious pseudointellectuals.What a bunch of heartless dorks we have here.

Truth

7/22/2009 2:05:00 PM

I did my most stupid and dangerous experimentation between 15-22. Sucks that this little guy paid the ultimate price. Condolences to family and friends.

To those offended by what you read here. The DC comment board is in no way reflective of the good people of Boulder. It's better likened to the graffiti in an elementary school bathroom. They do it for shock value and people eat it up, just like Borat/Bruno/Jackarse/list goes on. Don't put too much emotion or thought it to it.

BoulderBurnout

7/22/2009 2:45:03 PM

Loonybird, you're the only one here that's making any sense here.

RedCape

7/22/2009 2:47:16 PM

RedCape, Thanks for the kind words. It is so heartbreaking when someone you love dies. Especially when it is so seemingly senseless and stupid. There is a lot of high risk behavior and some has worthwhile rewards. This is just not one of them. David (and I am sure Jeff, as well) had a zillion friends here in Boulder and not one of them was there when his breathing slowed down and he was in trouble. I have seen a room full of people high on dope and one of them totally blue from a little too much and NOBODY even paying a bit of attention. (Yeah, she is alive today because I happened to walk in and notice her.) Be careful what you do and do not count on others to be there if you mess up.

My heart is there for the family of this bright young man. He made a stupid mistake and of course he would like a do over. Darwin Awards are often funny, but in this case, there is nothing funny whatsoever about this tragedy.

Loonybird

7/22/2009 3:37:17 PM

bobcat77

Your being overweight and riding a motorcycle are more risky than smoking pot or drinking poppy tea for that matter.

Suck on that you fat f@ck! ~ Purley_Baker

---

Aww, how cute.

Don't look now but your chain is dragging on the ground.

bobcat77

7/22/2009 3:55:45 PM

these stories make me think back to all the stupid mistake that I made when I was growing up.There's no one better to party with than your natural brothers and sisters.

Of course, people like bobcat never made any mistakes, which gives them permission to rip on the rest of us who did.

bouldermeister

7/22/2009 4:25:02 PM

"Of course, people like bobcat never made any mistakes, which gives them permission to rip on the rest of us who did."

Yeah, he ate too much junk food and his heart will one day stop from the clogged arteries.

He'll be wishing he could get health care then.

Purley_Baker

7/22/2009 4:39:51 PM

"Of course, people like bobcat never made any mistakes, which gives them permission to rip on the rest of us who did."

---

Nah, I made the same types of mistakes you did and that's why when I say things like, "that because it grows naturally makes it is good for you or won't hurt you", Purley goes off the deep end.

I believed the same nonsense when I was his age as he does today, the justifications haven't changed.

I lost a couple of friends to drugs in high school and their wasn't much difference between what they were doing and what I was doing. Their deaths changed the direction of my life.

But, the truth hurts or in this case, kills..... better deal with it sooner rather then later.

bobcat77

7/22/2009 5:26:45 PM

Evolution by means of natural selection has never been proven, according to my neighbor Bill. So all this talk about Charles Darwin is a waste of time.

DanielPlainview

7/22/2009 8:48:42 PM

I agree purley is way off, but I think my main problem wasn't thinking that it was natural therefore OK, but that I was indestructible.

Thankfully I was given the ability to retrospect on my errors in judgement, which this poor soul missed out on.

bouldermeister

7/22/2009 8:50:30 PM

Poppy tea, crystal meth, over-dosing on over the counter allergy meds etc...

What ever happened to beer?

Today's youth seem quite experimental with drug use. The dangers of experimental drugs are much like experimental aircraft-one hell of rush with one hell of a risk involved (the end usually involves a story in the Camera-which in this case is bad news).

I ask the kids of today using a language that they are quite familiar with: WTF??

GradyWilson

7/22/2009 9:04:42 PM

He was a nice kid who made a terrible mistake. I feel for his big brother who will always live with this.My heart goes out to his family.

While I worry about kids experimenting with drugs, I worry more about adults who make jokes about kids dying.

SuzieQ

7/22/2009 9:59:10 PM

SuzieQ,

Solid post.

My comment (I hope you weren't referring to me) was simply to wonder why such dangerous alternatives have replaced the simple ones. I grew up near where this happened (within a few hundred yards). It was the early 80s when I experimented with getting buzzed. 4 of us would split a 12-pack of beer in Tantra-nobody died.

Times have certainly changed I suppose. Here's to hoping they change again.

GradyWilson

7/22/2009 10:39:12 PM

More people have died in Boulder this year from Poppy Tea than from Heroin.

What's wrong with that picture?

Trungpa_Pistachio

7/23/2009 12:06:05 AM

Grady, I don't see what your talking about. I also partied as a teen in the same era and locales as you did, and there were plenty of kids doing extremely crazy drug experimentation.Your expierience was typical for some, I am sure, but not indicative of the whole alcohol-and-other-drug-abusing scene.

andy@dickson.org

7/23/2009 11:53:26 AM

A cautionary tale: http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/confessions-of-an-ebay-opium-addict/Content?oid=1079900

intheknow

7/23/2009 1:09:24 PM

MK is sooo stupid!Maybe she read it as Derwood, and not Darwin.LOL

Englehood

7/24/2009 1:50:13 PM

So many of you have valid points. I think the problems is, many find themselves "going with the flow". This horrible tragedy will certainly change "the flow" of thinking and doing things-one would hope. Kids "hear" about things to do and what might be fun and exciting. This young man made a poor decision for whatever reasons and it cost him the ultimate price, one that he was not even expecting. There is only one way to view that = very sad.

He was a good young man, smart, athletic and young at the same time. My heart goes out to his family and his brother who Jeff was with.There cannot be a greater nightmare than to live thru this. I hope there is a lesson for everyone touched by this tragedy and that it is never repeated by people who are now made aware. Drugs legal or not-should never be taken for recreational/social reasons. You just never know what underlying condtions are present that could become fatal. RIP Jeff and May the family not allow one mistake to define their precious son's life and memories. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Chautauqua

7/25/2009 1:38:08 PM