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Smoking Toad
Inhaling Dried Poison: An Experience Thought Up in the Name of Truth, or Boredom
by Larry Gallagher
The New York Times Magazine; June 5, 1994. p 48-49.
Those who smoke the dried venom of Bufo Alvarius, the Colorado River toad, experience consciousness-altering effects of considerable power. The venom contains huge amounts of 5-MEO-DMT (5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine), which is pound for pound one of the most potent psychoactive agents concocted by nature. Five-methoxy was originally synthesized in 1936, but it was not until 1959, when it was found in the snuff of South American Indians, that scientists learned of it hallucinogenic properties. The drug is chemically similar to DMT, popular among the 60's drug cognoscenti as the "businessman's high", but five-methoxy's effects are considerably more terrifying than those of DMT. No toad-smoking casualties have been reported to date, but there has also been no proof that the drug is completely safe in the long run. The writer describes his experience trying the drug.