SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Drug enforcement. A forensic scientist examining a bag of opium straw. Opium straw is the dried head of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) left once the seeds have been removed. It is the source of 90% of the world's legal medicinal morphine as well as other opiates, although it is also used to in illegal drug activity to make heroin. Opium straw is also known as poppy straw, poppy pod, poppy capsule, poppy head and poppy chaff. Measuring the proportion of some opiates such as oripavine in the straw can help determine where the plant was grown. Photographed at the Drug Control Department at Rostov-on-Don, Russia.
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