Toad licking? Really? Even during my not-so-sheltered existence on terra firma, I have somehow missed out on the psychedelic experience, and never knew that the practice was illegal. However, UPI reported on November 8 that the National Park Service warned visitors to the Sonoran desert area that the practice of licking and kissing the species Bufo alvarius can make humans sick and has been known to kill small animals htttps://


But the practice itself brought to mind a hilarious poem chanted by Mason Williams on the late-1960s Smothers Brothers variety show (yes I am that age). YouTube videos and online versions are abundant, but the rendering here comes from

How ’bout them toad suckers, ain’t they clods?
Sittin’ there suckin’ them green toady-frogs.
Suckin’ them hop-toads, suckin’ them chunkers,
Suckin’ them leapy-types, suckin’ them plunkers.
Look at them toad suckers, ain’t they snappy?
Suckin’ them bog-frogs sure makes ’em happy.
Them hugger-mugger toad suckers, way down south,
Stickin’ them sucky-toads in they mouth.
How to be a toad sucker? No way to duck it.
Gittchyseff a toad, rear back and suck it!

— Mason Williams 1964

The National Park Service failed to mention that the practice is also illegal. In its frivolous Facebook post, the NPS advised that the toad’s call sounds like a “low-pitched toot”. Then we read, “As we say with most things you come across in a national park, whether it be a banana slug, unfamiliar mushroom, or a large toad with glowing eyes in the dead of night, please refrain from licking. Thank you. Toot!” For a government agency to ignore the fact that the Bufotenine secreted by the toad is a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The Bufofetine information below comes from the PubChem Internet publication of the National Library of Medicine (US)

7.1DEA Controlled Substances

Synonym(s)Mappine, N,N-dimethylserotonin
DEA Controlled Substances Code Number7433
Controlled Substances Act ScheduleSchedule I – Substances in the DEA Schedule I have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.

So use of the toad’s venom is illegal, has no current accepted medical uses or safety even in managed situations, and downright abusive? DEA Schedule I, NPS? So what? “Toot!”


Warnings of this sort coming from an ineffectual government. Such ‘friendly’ cautions do little more than to alert desperado junkies seeking more ‘highs’ than a pot high. I understand that pot stinks so badly that us non-smokers want nothing to do with it regardless. So I wonder which stinks the worse, pot or the lickable toads. What is it that motivates people even to ponder the possibility of getting high from toad-licking? Or for that matter, wandering around in the desert in search of toads suitable for the smooching?

But then consider the plethora of notable elites of high social standing who have not only adopted the practice, but commend it. Among its many advocates are Joe Rogan the podcaster, Chelsea Handler, whatever she does these days, Mike Tyson, who bit off another boxer’s ear during a fight and served time in an Indiana prison for rape among other charges. Most recently the fashion model Victoria Barbara witnesses to her beyond-positive experiences of the venom Such a gallery of luminaries surely induces the uninstructed to try the venom for themselves.

But one stood out among them. Hunter Biden. In an April, 2021, article in The Independent, Hunter B. explains how the substance kept him off sorrier drugs for around a year He and others who have taken the ‘trip’ speak in glowing terms of the visions, of crossing over Jordan to realize that death is not such a bad thing, etc., etc.

It is any wonder then that toad-licking has seen such a boom in recent years? The New York Times reported that aficionados will pay from $250 up to $8,500 for toad venom vacations The latter article cites a Texas schoolteacher who founded something called the “Universal Shamans of the New Tomorrow” and celebrates its liturgies for the lesser fee. Just what we of the historic Catholic and Evangelical faith needed in this country, another 501c4 “church”. I need cite no further sources to illustrate that our culture has largely lost its mind.



But what of the natural rights of toads not to be licked and sucked by crazed addicts wandering the Sonoran deserts in search of that next ‘spiritual experience’ or ‘healing vision’? I must agree with British scientist James Rucker, a psychiatrist at King’s College London, as he said in a Washington Post interview concerning the warnings,

“I’m sure the toads would appreciate their dignity and autonomy being preserved, too,” Rucker told The Post. “The toad wants to be left alone. We should respect that.”

Pro-choice toads have no voice! That is, other than “Toot”. As the Park Service is a government agency tasked with protecting the rights of endangered species, where is the Administration’s attention directed as they scream about “our democracy is endangered”??

So I warn the toads who may exercise their sovereign choice not to be licked, “Colorado Hoppie-Toads’ and them thar’ plunkers, Beware! They’re coming in mobs to illegally lick you!! But watch out, for they also suck!

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