Visitors visiting the park are attempting to obtain the hallucinogenic effects of the Sonoran Desert toad’s toxin, which may be consumed when the toad is dried and smoked in a pipe.
What exactly are you licking? Why, none other than the Colorado River toad, one of the biggest in North America which secretes a lethal venom capable of killing a dog. According to The New York Times, the effects of the toxin is so potent that some have begun referring to the poison as “the God molecule.” because the effects have been compared to a religious experience. Others claim the substance is a lethal poison that can severely harm a person or even kill them. The National Park Service declined to comment on how many visitors had been licking the toads, but there must have been enough for a warning to be necessary. Beyond this specific incident, environmentalists are becoming increasingly concerned for the future of Sonoran Desert toads due to the amphibians’ increased vulnerability to illegal trafficking, poaching, and overharvesting.