'Crazy Clown' warning issued

Published: Aug. 26, 2013 at 7:35 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2013 at 7:41 PM EDT
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Major Bill Berry
Major Bill Berry

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - South Georgia drug agents are extending a warning about synthetic incense with dangerous side effects. Crazy Clown has not been showing up much in our area, but it nearly proved deadly in southeast Georgia where several young people who smoked it ended up hospitalized.

The packet of incense is prompting warnings. Crazy Clown is the name and its side effects are said to be downright dangerous.

"It's Russian roulette. We don't know what's going to happen with it, they don't either," said Albany Dougherty Drug Commander Maj. Bill Berry.

He says the synthetic spice clearly indicates it's not for human consumption. Eight young people learned that the hard way last Thursday in Brunswick. Three people who smoked the incense ended up hospitalized in serious condition.

"Three girls foaming at the mouth. One rolling around on the ground and my nephew couldn't walk..." Jason Pedigard describing the side effects he witnessed outside the home of his nephew who himself came close to dying at the hospital after using Crazy Clown.

Berry says agents are checking to see if it's on the shelves in the area, but even if they come across it, their hands are tied... "At this particular time, it's not against the law in Georgia."

That's because the active chemical in Crazy Clown, E4279, is not one of the components outlawed by the state. "Right now all we're asking people to do who might have it is to pull it from their shelves or to monitor them because that's the danger, there is not a lot we can do about it," Berry says.

The chemicals have a compounding effect of both a stimulant and an opiate which can produce potentially deadly side effects. "Leave it alone, it's playing with dynamite," he said.

Legal or not he hopes this message will persuade anyone who may have their hands on Crazy Clown, to do the sane thing and throw it away.

Berry says because drug agents and law enforcement around the state are aware of the side effects of Crazy Clown, lawmakers could push for an emergency ban on the product. Otherwise all they can is ask people not to use it or sell it.

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