Started by Handshake, November 30, 2017, 08:14:33 PM
Quote"I worked as a consultant and fixer on the episode of Hamilton's Pharmacopeia that features Dr. Sandoval. There are a few issues that have come up since the airing of the piece. I will attempt to address them. It is part of a written piece I'm working on as a response to elucidate more details about the ethnoherpetology of Bufo alvarius.The discovery of 5meoDMT in Bufo alvarius:Bufo alvarius is the only animal known to produce 5meoDMT, one of the most powerful hallucinogens available to humans. If ancient American cultures utilized B. alvarius as a hallucinogen, there is no orally preserved tradition to indicate so. Papers treating this question are speculative and inconclusive. Such a significant compound as 5meoDMT is unlikely to have been forgotten following European contact. The depiction of frogs and toads (anurans) in ancient American material is for their significance as beings that dually inhabited the realms of land and water, underwent a remarkable metamorphosis, and were harbingers of live-giving seasonal rain. Toad remains associated with shamanic burial are identified as B. marinus.The documentary claims that "Albert Most" sensu stricto is the first person to have accessed the 5meoDMT in the skin of B. alvarius for psychedelic purposes as a result of self-experimentation informed by the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples. He states having smoked the skin secretions of other toad species before that of B. alvarius. However his 1983 pamphlet cites the discovery of 5meoDMT in B. alvarius in the 1960s.Contemporary Use of 5meoDMT from Bufo alvarius:The psychedelic use of B. alvarius travelled to Mexico where it was eventually introduced to indigenous cultures such as the Comca'ac (Seri) and Yaqui by shamanic practicioners. It is natural for cultures to appropriate novel advents from others and the "modern world".The Comca'ac and Yaqui doctors have adopted the 5meoDMT of B. alvarius as a powerful and highly respected medicinal tool treating serious depression, psychological traumas, and most notably, addiction to methamphetamines and opiates.However some of the shamanic practitioners have over stated this advent at best, and exploited indigenous cultures at worst, in order to inflate their following and bank accounts. I found it ironic in the documentary that after lamenting the death of B. alvarius on roads, Dr. Sandoval proceeded to express the sacred medicine from the glands of a run-over toad onto the road.Toad Plight:Bufo alvarius has been in the pet trade (illegally) for some time. However since the Vice video piece on Octavio Rettig, the demand for B. alvarius had gone up enough that in 2014 I was invited along with a friend to workshop with Yaqui psychologists in Sonora interested in its medicinal properties. They are concerned since toads are becoming notably diminished in areas due to heavy poaching. There is currently an illicit bounty on B. alvarius in Sonora.Bufo alvarius may live to be well over 15 years old. The largest individuals are responsible for recruiting the greatest numbers of eggs and young into the ecosystem. The largest individuals are also the first to be detected by poachers. While smaller toads are able to reproduce, they aren't able to fully sustain populations with their smaller output of eggs. This toad does not usually fare well in captivity because they are usually in the hands of novice keepers; they have strong homing instinct; and tricky seasonal water balance requirements (dry season aestivation).Besides poaching, B. alvarius and other wildlife face a multitude of other threats such as disease, climate change, pollution, and displacement by humans in a variety of ways. If synthetic 5meoDMT is just as effective, it should be substituted for that derived from B. alvarius. Stress and poaching of the toads can be mitigated by collecting their secretions in the close vicinity where they are found. That is, within their individual territories. But there should be no good reason to remove this toad from the natural habitat its been inhabiting for the last millions of years."
Quote from: gurudedicationananda on December 20, 2017, 04:12:03 PMThanks for this information.What I wanted to add here is that I feel that it is highly irresponsible and also cruel go into the Sonoran Desert and capture a bunch of toads, collective milk all of them for their venom, and then throw them back into nature after having depleted them of their defense mechanism.
Quote from: HumbleVoyager on January 13, 2018, 01:44:04 PMI agree, synthetic is the way to go.However, I feel that Dr. Gerry is a hypocrite in that he says toad populations are being decimated yet he continues to harvest venom from the toads. It's a situation of do as I say not as I do. I don't see him leading by example and that's poor form.As for the "reserve", that's ridiculous. No reserve would be necessary if the toads were left alone and it were illegal for ALL people to harvest toad venom. The idea of a reserve is just a way to have unlimited toad venom in one's back yard.Shy Violet wrote a really good post on the topic of toad extinction in the Ethics and Ecology section, well worth checking out: https://forums.5meodmt.org/index.php/topic,50443.0.html
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