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Australia: Kids smoking cane toads

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  • Australia: Kids smoking cane toads

    By Greg McLean
    September 28, 2005

    CHILDREN as young as 12 are licking cane toads in an attempt to get high, the Northern Territory News has learned.

    Some children and teenagers in Katherine and Arnhem Land are even drying out the skins of cane toads and rolling them up as joints to get a hit.

    But Territory health authorities have warned that those who lick or smoke cane toads are dicing with death and stress that there are no hallucinogenic effects possible from bufo toxin, the toxin excreted by the introduced pest.

    Director of emergency medicine at Royal Darwin Hospital Didier Palmer said anyone who ingests bufo toxin is more likely to die than get high from it.

    "These are very foolish and dangerous acts," he said.

    "Anyone who does this runs the very serious risk of seizures, a rapid loss of consciousness, cardio-vascular collapse and death."

    Researchers investigating what substances petrol sniffers in Arnhem Land abuse were shocked to be told that some were skinning cane toads, drying them and smoking them.

    Maranboy police also report they had to take a road worker into custody last month after he licked a cane toad while intoxicated.

    It is understood the man's eyes rolled in the back of his head and he became extremely aggressive, and began shaking uncontrollably after licking the bufo toxin.

    Officer-in-charge of Maranboy police, Brevet Sergeant Angelo Denale, said it was unclear whether the man's aggression was caused by alcohol or bufo toxin but warned against experimenting with the dangerous substance.

    "Whether or not he became aggressive from licking cane toads, smoking cannabis or alcohol, it is a recipe for disaster," he said.

    "Licking cane toads gives off some form of poison and it's obviously bad for your health."

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117...-13762,00.html
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  • #2
    Toad Licking: The Latest High

    Licking toads will not give you warts or produce a fairy prince, but it might get you high. It isn't exactly an epidemic, but the Drug Enforcement Administration says toad licking is the latest way to hallucinate. "It sounds like a fairy tale gone wrong, doesn't it?" said Robert K. Sager, chief of the DEA's laboratory in San Francisco. "Now, I don't think this is going to be a great problem because people don't go around licking toads as a habit." The culprit: the Cane toad. "They're beautiful toads," Sager Said. "People like them." The Cane toad, which can grow to the size of a dinner plate, produces a toxin called bufotenine, which the toad secretes to ward off predators. When licked raw. or cooked, the toxin acts as a hallucinogen. In the Southwest recently, several dogs have died after eating Cane toads, and the DEA has had bufotenine turn up at its research labs from time to time after drug arrests. In Washoe County, the prospect of gonzo toad lickers in our midst produced a few chuckles in the offices of the county's Consolidated Narcotics Unit.

    "We're not aware of any toad-licking problems," said Sparks police Lt. Tim Gonyo, who heads the unit. "As far as we're aware of, toad-licking has not hit Washoe County." Local pet store operators reacted with astonishment. "That's pretty gross," said Michele Robinette, manager of Reno's Pets Unlimited. "That's a new one, and we've heard a lot of strange things around here." Robinette said she knew of no area pet stores that peddle the mind-altering amphibian. The green and red toads produce the same toxin found in amanita mushrooms, cohoba seeds and other plants. Indians in South America have used the toxin for its hallucinogenic qualities for years in religious ceremonies, and some tribes have used it in blowguns to kill dinner. Bufotenine is considered a controlled, dangerous substance and is therefore illegal.

    However, it is not against the law to own a Cane toad. a favorite of aquarium afficionados. "If you had a toad. we would have to prove you were licking it on purpose, or you had given it to someone to lick on purpose," Sager explained. The Cane toad has come into some renown in Australia. where four people died last year after partaking of its marbled flesh. (Depending on the size of the toad and the concentrations of toxin consumed. bufotenine can be fatal). The toad was imported to Australia from Hawaii in 1935 to kill the Greyback beetle, which was destroying [email protected] in Queensland. The toad adapted beautifully, multiplied in the millions and ate everything - except for the beetle. Last fall, officials in Brisbane, Australia's third-largest city, announced an elaborate plan to eradicate the poisonous toads, which today pose a major threat to the continent's fauna and wildlife. In recent years, toad licking has become popular in the Australian outback, prompting Queensland's government to classify the toad slime as an illegal substance under its Drug Misuse Act. "That's how this whole cycle started - a lack of dope in the Australian outback," Sager said. "There, they are killing the toads, drying the skins and making tea. Yummy, huh?"



    http://www.totse.com/en/drugs/rare_a.../toadlick.html
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    • #3
      Really caning it

      August 04, 2004

      Riding high on the toad's back is even less attractive than it sounds. Kiss a frog and you will see your Prince (or Princess) Charming. Lick the back of a cane toad and you may have a brief vision of Prince Charming but it's likely to give way to nausea and heart palpitations. Say hello to Prince Chunder, writes Anne Fawcett.

      The universally loathed cane toad secretes a deadly cocktail of venom from glands in its skin, successfully deterring most predators. Many a crocodile has come to a gut-wrenching end after snacking on a couple of cane toads. And yet rumours persist that, way up there in the far reaches of northern Queensland, bored folk have been known to lick them, and sometimes to even dry the critters out and smoke them.

      Why, Radar asked, would a sane human being deliberately lick a cane toad?"They wouldn't," says Paul Dillon, of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre.

      So why would anyone do it, sane or otherwise? Because the toad secretes bufotenine, a chemical compound that interferes with the action of some neurotransmitters, including serotonin.

      In the 1960s, US government researchers fed synthetic bufotenine to prisoners and studied the effects. It was found to be similar to hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD and mescaline.

      Bufotenine can be found in certain species of mushroom and some grasses, as well as other toad species. At high doses, it can cause seizures, cardiac arrest or a nasty rash. But - and here's where the Queenslanders come in - in lower doses, it may have stimulatory effects or cause hallucinations.

      It just happens that the good old Aussie cane toad is miles ahead of European and African species when it comes to bulk production of bufotoxins. Consequently, cane toads have been licked, smoked, dried, powdered and snorted by individuals in pursuit of a high.

      According to Dillon, you'd probably get more stimulation out of a cup of coffee. Bufotenine's stimulatory effects usually lasted less than an hour and were often followed by a "deep but short sleep".

      "The effects recorded are more like symptoms of mild poisoning than full-blown hallucination," he says.

      And that's not accounting for the effects of anything else that happens to be sitting on the toad's skin when you lick it. If you happen to ingest a dose of salmonella, you could find yourself spending a week on the toilet as well.

      On the other hand, it seems those Queenslanders know when to stop licking their toads. Radar's research did not unearth any verifiable cases of bufotenine overdose in Australia.

      "I think, realistically, if there had been a death linked to a toad; it would probably have made the front page of the paper," Dillon says.

      Bufotenine is listed as a Schedule 1 substance under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act. If you're caught with more than three grams of the stuff, you can be busted for trafficking bufotenine and may be given a hefty jail sentence.

      "Under the act, it is treated in the same way as drugs like heroin and cocaine," Dillon says.

      That, and the fact that bufotenine comes prepackaged in the ultimate deterrent, is probably why it hasn't caught on as the latest party drug.

      As Dillon sums it up: "All in all, toad licking is not a good idea."

      Radar is inclined to agree.

      http://radar.smh.com.au/archives/200..._caning_i.html
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      • #4
        gross !
        what will they think of next ???
        Please Re-update your Signature

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