Scattered reports of people licking an exotic Mexican toad to get high have circulated for years, but now police say that some are smoking the venom of the Sonoran Desert toad for its hallucinogenic effect.
The Associated Press reported Dec. 5 that Kansas City officials report that a local man was arrested for possession of the toad -- which secretes a toxin containing the hallucinogen bufotenine when angry or frightened -- with intent to dry and smoke the venom.
"It's sort of a New Age way to get high. You convince yourself it is OK because it is something you get naturally from our environment," said Clay County Prosecutor Daniel White. "There are a lot of things that are created naturally but they are still not legal."
White said instructions on how to extract and smoke the venom can be found online.
In an even more exotic caveat, Kansas City officials also cited reports of use of "jenkem" -- an inhalant made from fermented human feces and urine.*
* Clarification on "Jenkem" (Dec. 12, 2007). In its brevity, our summary may have inadvertently suggested that Kansas City officials are reporting use of so-called Jenken. In fact, the official quoted in the original AP story referred to unverified e-mail and Internet warnings about supposed "jenkem" use in U.S. schools. The official expressed concern that local youth might be tempted to try the drug after reading this unsubstantiated information on the Internet. More info: AP Story | Snopes.com.