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Attorney General Kane joins national fight against synthetic drug sales

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Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane and attorneys general from 42 other states and territories are calling on nine gas station and convenience store retailers to forbid the sale of synthetic drugs, which are easily accessible to minors and just as dangerous as street drugs because of the unpredictability of their ingredients.

“People use synthetic drugs because they think they are a safer option than street drugs, but they are wrong,” Attorney General Kane said. “There is just as much of a risk because there are unknown, unregulated chemicals that can interact with other medications or conditions.”

Kane said synthetic drugs are illegal in Pennsylvania and her agents routinely encounter and seize “spice” or synthetic marijuana as part of drug investigations. The synthetic drugs are available at some gas station franchises as an underground market.

In the letter to executives of the gas station and convenience store chains, the attorneys general wrote:

“The fact that synthetic drugs have been available at locations operating under respected brand names has only exacerbated an already growing problem. Young people are the most likely to use these dangerous drugs and their availability in stores operating under well-known brands gives the appearance of safety and legitimacy to very dangerous products.”

According to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), tens of thousands of synthetic drug users, including minors, have required emergency room visits in the past four years.

NAAG is asking the companies to collaborate with franchisees to help eliminate synthetic drugs from retail locations operating under their brand names by:

  • Prohibiting franchisees from selling any synthetic drugs;
  • Communicating directly with franchisees to ensure prohibition;
  • Establishing a point of contact about synthetic drugs in corporate offices for franchisees;
  • Revoking franchisee/franchisor relationships with any store that sells any kind of synthetic drugs; and
  • Reporting the sale of synthetic drugs by any franchisee to local law enforcement.

The companies addressed in the letter are: BP, Chevron Corp., Citgo Petroleum Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Marathon Petroleum Corp., Phillips 66, Shell Oil Company, Sunoco and Valero Energy Corp.

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