What could go wrong? New York partiers jump on toad venom to get high

(Video screenshot)

The new drug of choice for the bored and relatively wealthy — particularly those among the bored and relatively wealthy who live in New York, apparently — is the illegal venom of the Sonoran Desert toad, more commonly known as the Colorado river toad or just bufo alvarius.

Take Manhattan resident Barrett Pall, who in a recent interview with the New York Post described in detail what it felt like to puff the smoke of bufo alvarius venom from a glass stem pipe not too dissimilar from the glass stem pipes used by literal crackheads.

“I was crying really hard, yelling ‘I’m so sorry’ over and over,” he recalled to the Post, describing what he’d begun to experience within just 30 seconds of taking a hit. I saw my younger self with my parents and ex-boyfriends in places [where] I’d been hurt.”

He added that the experience of “shooting through the universe” and “being reborn” lasted for roughly 25 minutes. Not surprisingly, he wound up puffing venom two more times later in the future.

Watch an example of someone being “reborn” from bufo alvarius below:


According to the Post, Pall’s just one of a growing battalion of doped up New Yorkers who’re effectively hooked on the “emotional reactions” and “euphoria” triggered by the drug.

“The toxic liquid is extracted by ‘milking’ the toad’s poisonous venom glands, then drying it to a paste,” the Post notes. “Users, such as Pall, score the extremely rare resin by hiring foreign shamans, often from Mexico, who travel throughout the U.S. distributing it at ceremonies that cost $200 to $500 a head.”

It’s unclear whether the foreign shamans are in the United States legally — or whether they happen to be among the “bad hombres” that President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned America about.

“Recently, 21 people in white robes gathered at a mansion in the Hamptons to smoke the substance with the same shaman that Pall used,” the Post’s report continues. “While someone beat a drum in the background, the leader read a prayer about love and held the pipe up to each guest’s lip.”

“Some people moaned, cried or convulsed on their backs. Others … started dancing, singing or chanting,” one of the attendees said to the Post, albeit anonymously.

Learn more about these shamans/prophets below:

One purported benefit of the venom is that it allegedly spurs life changes.

“I immediately broke up with my long-term boyfriend,” Pall said, adding that he wound up booking a trip around the world and reconnecting with his estranged father.

Is there any legitimacy to these claims, though? Yes, actually, and the source of this confirmation may surprise you.

“[R]esearchers have discovered that use of the synthetic psychedelic 5-methocy-N,-N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) appears to be associated with unintended improvements in self-reported depression and anxiety when given in a ceremonial group setting,” the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine reported last March. “5-MeO-DMT is a psychedelic that is found in the venom of Bufo Alvarius toads, in a variety of plants species, and can be produced synthetically.”

However, Alan K. Davis, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow at the school’s Behavioral Research Unit, warned that the research is still “in its infancy”and “further investigation is warranted.”

How high profile has this drug become? So much so that legendary boxer Mike Tyson once smoked it at his office while recording an interview for his podcast, “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson.”

“One day a man named Dr. Gerry came by the office … Dr. Gerry’s real name is Gerardo Sandoval. He’s a gynecologist and obstetrician originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, and an evangelist for the spiritually and psychologically transformative properties of bufo alvarius,” GQ reported earlier this year.

“So Dr. Gerry sat in the podcast studio at the Tyson Holistic office and explained the toad to Tyson and his co-host, Eben Britton, who is a former NFL lineman turned cannabis advocate, with a canyon-deep Tony Robbins voice,” the report continued. “Dr. Gerry told Mike Tyson that smoking the toad was ‘like freebase jumping into the heart of God and coming back, in just 20 minutes.’ Mike Tyson sat calmly and listened. Then he went into another room with Dr. Gerry and smoked the toad.”

And in doing so, Tyson reportedly experienced an awakening.

Watch the full episode below:

Though Tyson appeared calm in the clip above, he later revealed that he’d initially freaked out.

“I was just freaking out,” he reportedly said. “I don’t wanna do this no more. I want it to stop. Too late. Couldn’t stop. I thought, ‘I f***ed up. Oh, s**t. I f***ed up. What was I trying to prove? I’m dead. I’m dead. It’s over. My whole life. Boom. My life is gone. I took these f***ing drugs and it killed me. There’s no way I’m gonna survive this.'”

But then the tranquility hit.

“Mike Tyson began experiencing beautiful things. He stood outside his own life and saw it stretched out in linear time, a continuum of Mikes coming and going. He saw Aztec symbols, bizarre pyramids, people who had died,” GQ notes.

“It’s almost like you die and you’re reborn,” Tyson said months after the experience.


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