Doda tea, also known as poor man’s heroin, is illegal in Canada. It’s derived from the opium poppy and contains substances like morphine, codeine and thebaine. That means it’s prohibited under Schedule 1 of the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, along with the most dangerous other illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
Doda is produced by grinding dried opium poppy husks to create a tea-like substance. It’s consumed like tea, and is popular with users because of its effects. But, like other narcotics, it’s also potentially addictive.
Most people in Canada probably haven’t even heard of doda. Yet, it’s reportedly very popular with many members of the South East Asian community, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver, where users apparently buy it under the counter from certain local shops.
Supply is down, prices are up
So where do the dried opium poppy husks used to make doda tea come from? They have traditionally been imported into Canada from places with favourable growing climates, such as Arizona in the southern United States. However a crackdown by law enforcement in recent years has squeezed supply, which has meant higher prices for the end consumer, and potentially lucrative profits for those who are willing to risk operating along the chain of distribution.
More law enforcement and prosecutions?
Despite all this, there haven’t yet been many prosecutions for doda-related offences in Canada. One reason could be a general lack of awareness within the law enforcement community. But if doda is as dangerous as experts claim, that might change. If it does, there could be more law enforcement and prosecutions for doda-related offences.