NEW ORLEANS -- Narcotics investigators describe it as a hallucinogenic speed, and it's openly sold to anyone in convenience stores.
It's called Cloud Nine.
"This stuff is deadly, and it's dangerous," said St. Tammany District Attorney Walter Reed.
Cloud Nine is sold as potpourri. The packaging calls it bath salt.
"It is sold as a potpourri," Walter Reed said. "The manufacturers know it's not a potpourri. Our kids know it's not a potpourri. And we know of two deaths that have been caused by Cloud Nine. Two suicides."
Drug abusers can smoke it, but more often it's snorted or injected.
Narcotics detectives liken it to PCP, a speed that can cause hallucinations.
"From what I understand from the informants on the street that are hardcore drug abusers, this is the worst drug they've ever had," said Captain Harry O'Neal of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Department. "The symptoms that they describe having are similar to what PCP, phencyclidine did, back when it was prevalent."
"This stuff is like nothing the sheriff and I have ever seen," Reed said. "It will keep people completely messed up for as long as six days."
Walter Reed is now on a campaign to get Cloud Nine off the streets. He hopes to have the state legislature declare it, and all similar over the counter designer drugs, illegal.
He also said he plans to meet with representatives of the FDA and the DEA.
In the meantime, he and Sheriff Jack Strain are asking convenience store owners to voluntarily take Cloud Nine and White Dove, which he said is the same product in different packaging, off their shelves.
Cloud Nine sprouted when Mojo became illegal.
"Once it got out that the Mojo was going to be controlled," O'Neal said, "then all of a sudden this started showing up in the amount that it has been."
Cloud Nine, according to Captain O'Neal, is far more dangerous than Mojo.
Reed called a press conference Monday to talk about the dangers of Cloud Nine because he said, he wanted parents to be aware of what's out there.
by Doug Mouton / Northshore Bureau Chief
Posted on December 6, 2010 at 6:21 PM
There is a 2 minute news video clip embedded in the story linked to above.
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