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Couple Arrested for Toad Juice Possession Agree to Drug Education Program

April 29, 1994 GMT

SONORA, Calif. (AP) _ A man and a woman charged with possessing psychedelic toad juice have agreed to attend a drug education program to avoid prison.

Charges against Bob and Connie Shepard will be dropped if they successfully complete the program and stay drug free for two years. They agreed to intervention Thursday in Tuolumne County Justice Court.

The two were accused of squeezing venom from their Colorado River toads, drying it, then smoking it for an intense psychedelic high.

Shepard’s lawyer, James Webster, said his client would have preferred to go to trial to prove that neither possession of the toads nor a dime store cactus that authorities said was a source of mescaline violated the law.

Drug agents seized the Shepards’ four toads in January. The couple was charged with five felony counts of drug possession, including possession of the psychedelic amphibian venom bufotenine.

After his arrest, Shepard was fired from his job as naturalist for the Regional Learning Center, an educational camp in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The couple has since moved to northern Oregon, Webster said.