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BOULDER, Colo. -

A Boulder man who died Tuesday after drinking poppy-pod tea was a bright student who wasn't into drugs and had plans to return to Colorado State University for his sophomore year, friends said Wednesday.

Jeffrey Joseph Bohan, 19, was found dead in a friend's Boulder home at about 6 a.m. Tuesday after consuming poppy-pod tea the night before, according to Boulder police. His cause of death has not been determined.

Scott Boland, 19, of Boulder, who met Bohan in eighth grade, said he and his friends were stunned.

"None of us had heard of him doing this stuff before -- not like that," Boland said. "Jeff was always the one saying, 'That's stupid,' and 'Don't do that kind of stuff.'"

Some of Bohan's friends gathered Tuesday to share memories and pictures.

"He was really funny and had a great sense of humor," Boland said. "He was always upbeat and was ultra-competitive."

Bohan went to Platt Middle School and then Fairview High, graduating in 2008. He was registered at CSU as an undeclared freshman

Boland described one of his "best friends" as "really athletic" and said the group of friends would play tennis and Frisbee golf and lift weights together.

"When we would lift together, he would try to outlift everyone else, no matter what they were doing," Boland said.

Bohan played football his freshman year in high school but stopped and focused on his studies, Boland said.

"(Bohan) was always a really, really good student," he said.


"He was a smart guy, and he always did his school work before anything else."

Bohan didn't have a job this summer and was just spending time with friends and family, Boland said.

Boulder police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said investigators are looking into exactly when and where Bohan drank the psychoactive tea, which is brewed from the plant that produces opium.

Witnesses told police Bohan and his 21-year-old brother drank the tea at about midnight at their family's Navajo Place home, then went to a friend's house in the 4300 block of Hanover Avenue to play video games, Huntley said. They fell asleep at about 4 a.m., according to witnesses, and a few hours later the older brother awoke to find his brother not breathing.

"We are still trying to get a better understanding of where and when they consumed the tea and what they did in the hours afterwards," Huntley said Wednesday. "This is a very concerning case for us. We have one of our major crimes detectives assigned to it."

Although it's illegal to consume poppy-pod tea, police haven't decided whether to filed charges against Bohan's brother, Huntley said.

Detectives are working with the Boulder County Drug Task Force and outside agencies that have dealt with poppy-pod tea cases to learn more about the drug, especially since this is the second death linked to the tea this year.

Alex McGuiggan, 20, of Boulder, was found dead at his home Feb. 22, and the Coroner's Office later determined he had ingested fatal quantities of opium from poppy tea.

"We are concerned about how they're getting it, and we're concerned with how to stop it," Huntley said.

Bohan and his brother bought the tea from an Internet site about one week ago, she said. Police aren't commenting at this time on whether Bohan drank more tea than his brother did or whether they consumed alcohol or other drugs in addition to the tea.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Vanessa Miller at or 303-473-1329.

Archived comments

Not all that bright a student, as it turned out. As I said previously, what part of "opiates" do people (especially supposedly "bright" people) not get?

Sad, sad, sad for all concerned, especially the young man's family.


7/22/2009 10:58:46 PM

1axel = loser


7/22/2009 11:42:09 PM

Looks like the "legal" highs kill more people than the "illegal" ones.

What does that tell you about the state of society?


7/22/2009 11:57:13 PM

Posted by Trungpa_Pistachio on July 22, 2009 at 11:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Looks like the "legal" highs kill more people than the "illegal" ones.

What does that tell you about the state of society?"

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Does the fact that it is legal mean that you should do it? It's legal to run headfirst into a brick wall, isn't it?


7/23/2009 12:20:39 AM


7/23/2009 7:30:14 AM

Very sad.My heart goes out to his family and friends.RIP.

7/23/2009 7:44:25 AM

A friend from the Mideast told me he's never heard of anyone dying from opium tea - which is consumed on occasion for certain ailments in that region.

He is convinced Bohan either combined it with alcohol or had a weak heart.

Or perhaps the tea itself was tainted.


7/23/2009 8:37:16 AM

sorry, but if "your not into drugs", you don't drink poppy tea!


7/23/2009 8:50:32 AM

Trungpa_Pistachio writes: "Looks like the "legal" highs kill more people than the "illegal" ones.

What does that tell you about the state of society?"

That statement tells me that society has reading comprehension problems, since you obviosuly missed the statement in the article, "Although it's illegal to consume poppy-pod tea, police haven't decided whether to filed charges against Bohan's brother, Huntley said."


7/23/2009 9:07:06 AM

Comfort to the family and friends of this young man, may he rest in peace.


7/23/2009 9:10:40 AM

Almost all of us are "into" drugs at some point or other. Some legal--some not.


7/23/2009 9:26:18 AM

After looking at some websites it seems you'd have to use a ton of poppy pods to make a lethal dose of tea. Wiki says someone died after using a tea made with 3.5 POUNDS of poppy pods. It is a bit irresponsible to link his death to this until the coroner reports the official cause of death as an opiate overdose.


A case of fatal overdose of poppy seed tea in conjunction with other drugs in 2003 has been reported on a website authored by the victim's parents. The site alleges that a sample of poppy seed tea was sent for laboratory analysis. This victim is reported to have used 3.5 lb of poppy seeds in his tea preparation as on several previous occasions. The concentration of morphine in the tea was shown to be around 250 μg/ml and the amount of morphine which had been consumed by the individual was around 500 mg.[1] This is about five times the lethal oral dose (without tolerance to opioids).[2]ABC News reported on the incident in January 2008.[3]


7/23/2009 9:33:26 AM

Legalize marijuana!!Have you ever heard of anyone dying of a marijuana overdose?If it were legal, we wouldn't have kids turning to things like poppy-pod tea, or this:,0,1874132.story

Do we care about saving our kids, or not?


7/23/2009 9:52:15 AM

Don't expect the truth from a newspaper. They've been obsolete for several years now, but don't want to admit it.

Lies are what control us and keep us from going berserk and ripping the heads off of our wealthy leaders.



7/23/2009 9:59:11 AM

My heart goes out to this family. This is a horrible tragedy. His brother is especially in my thought and prayers. May your family be surrounded by healing thoughts at this time.

You NEVER know what you're getting over the internet, it may have been laced w/ something else. Nancy had it right, JUST say NO! One bad decision and it costs a life-to pay that price is not worth it. Young adults do not develop the consequence part of their brain until mid 20s! Seems like a good idea and it's natural- is probably as far as the thought process went, unfortunately. I just hope young people and all people- all over can learn from this. JUST SAY NO.


7/23/2009 10:03:28 AM

SAN FRANCISCO -- Federal drug agents have arrested a Sacramento man for allegedly selling opium poppy pods on eBay, where he described the morphine-laden pods and seeds as a decoration.

Krsna Lev-Twombly, 30, was arrested at his home Thursday by Drug Enforcement Administration agents, who say they bought hundreds of the illegal pods from him last year.


7/23/2009 1:57:09 PM

The Poppy Paradox

They are grayish-black flecks, such weightless objects for their potential. Poppy seeds grow into beautiful flowers, taste good in muffins, and produce opium. It is this latter trait that got Tom Dunbar and Jo-D Harrison into so much trouble.

Take the smallest pinch of poppy seeds, the exact same kind that top your bagel, and plant them. In a few days, they will sprout tiny white stems, then slender green leaves, and will keep growing into hardy annuals with vibrant flowers.

A couple of months into the spring growing season, the flowers will fall away, leaving in their place round seedpods filled with thousands of seeds and a milky sap that will ooze out through any slits made in the pod walls. That dried sap is opium, an illegal narcotic even in its most natural form, possession of which can send you to prison.

The opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is widely grown across the USA as an ornamental flower, and the seeds used to grow the opium poppy are available in any grocery store.

McCormick, the world's largest spice company, even identifies its poppy seeds as Papaver somniferum on its website, noting, "The tiny poppy seed actually comes from the plant that produces opium." Conversely, such seeds grow the opium poppy.


7/23/2009 2:02:15 PM

Posted by Trungpa_Pistachio on July 23, 2009 at 2:02 p.m.

"the seeds used to grow the opium poppy are available in any grocery store."

In order to be legally sold for culinary purposes, the seeds are supposed to be toasted so they can't germinate. Viable seeds frequently make it to the markets, though.


7/23/2009 4:04:39 PM

Posted by radiohead826 on July 23, 2009 at 9:52 a.m.

"Legalize marijuana!! Have you ever heard of anyone dying of a marijuana overdose? If it were legal, we wouldn't have kids turning to things like poppy-pod tea"

Yeah, the kid NEVER would have been able to find marijuana in Boulder. After all, it's illegal!


7/23/2009 4:07:07 PM

Chautauqua: "The consequence part of their brains doesn't develop until the mid 20's."Preposterous! Three year olds can possess good judgment and understand consequences. They canhand adults a book of matches instead of playing with them, stop at the curb instead of chasing their ball into the street, ask before petting a strange dog...

I'm very sorry about this young man and for his family. I'm just reacting to your assertion about 20-year olds' presumed inability to understand consequences.


7/23/2009 5:25:16 PM

"Three year olds can possess good judgment and understand consequences."


Only a three year old would make such an absurd assertion.


7/23/2009 7:49:08 PM

"editer"- hope you develop more of your brain and do your own reseach so you have better understanding (Trungpa-good point-editer isn't one of those 3 year olds who likes to please, either, we might find him hanging on to a pack of matches) ;D

"A National Institutes of Health study suggests that the region of the brain that inhibits risky behavior is not fully formed until age 25, a finding with implications for a host of policies, including the nation's driving laws"....and poppy pod tea.


7/25/2009 12:26:55 PM