Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ga. Police: Beware of Crazy Clown Herbal Madness Incense

It’s labeled Crazy Clown Herbal Madness incense, but it’s not incense, it’s a brand of synthetic marijuana, which is still legal in many states. Sold in head shops and convenience stores, the product is usually burned and inhaled or smoked, and has a euphoric effect. According to police, however, this time it’s effects are dangerous.

The Effingham County Georgia Sherriff’s Office released a statement on August 24, 2013, warning that in the previous 24 hours at least eight people had been admitted to hospitals in southeast Georgia, some admitted to intensive care units and others even placed on life support, after using the substance sold as Crazy Clown Herbal Madness incense.

The drug has been for sale in the U.S. at least since 2011, according to a review of it on, “If anything, it’s pretty tame – more Bozo than Pennywise.  I tried the 5x because it was supposed to be the most potent blend in the line.  If that’s the case, I can’t imagine the others do anything at all.”

So perhaps this is a bad batch, or the makers have changed their formula.

No one really knows what is in any particular batch of these uncontrolled synthetic drugs, but in the case of this brand the adverse effects can be quite serious. “Symptoms are nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, weakness, cardiac problems, but of note some subjects are experiencing paralysis,” according to Sheriff’s spokesman David Ehsanipoor.

Samples of the drug have been sent to the crime lab for testing and police have alerted the CDC. It is not known at this time where exactly in the U.S. this particular brand is sold, but the CDC is reportedly concerned about the effect Crazy Clown may have on users across the country.

Police in Effingham County are asking residents to report the sale of Crazy Clown Herbal Madness incense in any local stores by calling 912-754-3449. Even if you are not in southeast Georgia, if you see Crazy Clown for sale, staying away from it is the safer bet.

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