The 55-year-old, who served three years in jail after being convicted of rape in 1992, said he experienced what he described as an after-life sensation after taking the drug, illegal in places such as New York, but said to be increasingly fashionable among a certain type of thrill-seeker.
“I died during my first trip,” said. “In my trips I’ve seen that death is beautiful. Life and death both have to be beautiful, but death has a bad rep. The toad has taught me that I’m not going to be here forever. There’s an expiration date.”
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Tyson, spoke to the New York Post, while attending Wonderland, a conference in Miami focussed on psychedelics and other drugs.
Tyson, who was the undisputed world heavyweight from 1987 to 1990, said he had taken the drug on more than 50 occasions.
He credited it him with helping him lose 100lbs in three months, led him to start boxing again, and also allowed him to restart a relationship with his wife and children.
“It has made me more creative and helps me focus,” he said. “I’m more present as a businessman and entrepreneur.”
The toad he was referring to was Bufo alvarius, often referred to as the Sonoran Desert Toad. Its venom can be smoked.
“People see the difference [in me],” said Tyson, who last year fought Roy Jones Jr, then aged 51, in a celebrity match-up.
“It speaks for itself. If you knew me in 1989 you knew a different person. My mind isn’t sophisticated enough to fathom what happened, but life has improved.”
He added: “The toad’s whole purpose is to reach your highest potential. I look at the world differently. We’re all the same. Everything is love.”
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