Attorney General George Jepsen and 43 other state and territorial attorneys general have asked nine major oil companies to collaborate with their franchisees in an effort to help eliminate synthetic drugs from retail locations operating under their brand names, including gas station and convenience stores.
In a letter co-sponsored by the Illinois and Florida attorneys general, Attorney General Jepsen asked gas stations and convenience stores operating under the brand names of oil companies to take steps to prevent the sale of illegal and extremely dangerous synthetic drugs. The Attorneys General are concerned that the retailors' well-known brands may give the appearance of safety and legitimacy to dangerous synthetic products sold on their premises.
"The increase in emergency room visits from the use of these synthetic drugs is alarming," said Attorney General Jepsen. "Given the significant danger that these drugs present to children and others, we urge these oil companies to help reduce the risk by prohibiting the sale of these drugs at their retail locations."
The use of synthetic drugs has increased dramatically over the past four years. In 2010, more than 11,000 people, many of whom were younger than 17, went to the emergency room after using synthetic marijuana, according to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Since then, thousands more have been harmed by synthetic drugs. Over this same period, enforcement agencies confirmed more than 130 instances of branded gas stations having sold synthetic drugs.
The attorneys general request the following actions be considered by these oil companies to address this growing problem:
Prohibit franchisees from selling any synthetic drugs;
Ensure this prohibition is understood by store franchisees and their employees by communicating directly with each of them;
Establish a point of contact in corporate offices for franchisees, should they have any questions about synthetic drugs;
Revoke franchisee/franchisor relationship with any gas station or convenience store that sells any kind of synthetic drugs; and
Report to local law enforcement authorities if any franchisee is selling synthetic drugs.
The oil companies addressed in the letter are: British Petroleum (BP), Chevron Corporation, Citgo Petroleum Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Phillips 66, Shell Oil Company, Sunoco, and Valero Energy Corporation.
In addition to Connecticut, the state and territorial attorneys general offices that signed today’s letter are Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Robert S. Blanchard
Facebook: Attorney General George Jepsen