Warnings are being issued about a synthetic marijuana substitute called “Crazy Clown” after several people were hospitalized in Southeast Georgia last week. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is investigating the drug, which is available in smoke shops and convenience stores.
Crazy Clown, also marketed as “Herbal Madness Incense,” was identified as the culprit in sending eight people to the emergency room. Three of them were so sickened by Crazy Clown that they were admitted to intensive care and placed on life support.
Effingham County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson David Ehsanipoor released a statement saying, “Symptoms are nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, weakness, cardiac problems, but of note some subjects are experiencing paralysis.” He said the drug has been sent to the crime lab for testing. The sheriff’s office is asking anyone who sees Crazy Clown for sale to alert authorities.
While marijuana and its active ingredient, THC, has been proven over centuries to be a completely safe, non-toxic substance, the active ingredient in Crazy Clown is unknown. It is likely similar to the synthetic cannabinoids found in Spice and K2, which have also been reported to sicken some users. Synthetic pot was placed under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in July of 2012. Of course, each time a compound is added to the list of illegal substances, chemists skirt the law by creating a similar, but distinct derivative.