NCAG Roy Cooper Urges Oil Companies to Ban Sale of Synthetic Drugs in Their Franchises

NCAG Roy Cooper Urges Oil Companies to Ban Sale of Synthetic Drugs in Their Franchises
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February 16, 2015

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is urging oil companies to ban the sale of synthetic drugs in their franchises.

Cooper and more than 40 other state attorneys general sent a letter to nine major oil companies asking them to work with their franchisees to help eliminate synthetic drugs, like synthetic marijuana, from their retail locations.

The letter to BP, Chevron, Citgo, Exxon Mobil, Marathon, Phillips 66, Shell, Sunoco, and Valero Energy specifically asked that franchisees stop selling any synthetic drugs, establish a point of contact at corporate offices to field questions about synthetic drugs, revoke the franchise agreement for locations that continue to sell synthetic drugs and report to local law enforcement if any franchisee is selling synthetic drugs.

"Despite laws against them these potentially harmful drugs are all too easy to get, especially for young people," said Cooper in a statement. "While law enforcement works to enforce existing laws against synthetic drugs, manufacturers try to evade those laws and sell their drugs at local gas stations and convenience stores."

Synthetic drugs include both synthetic marijuana, often sold as potpourri, herbal incense, K2, or Spice, and synthetic cathinones, typically sold as bath salts or jewelry cleaner. These substances are labeled 'not for human consumption' to evade Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight but are smoked or ingested by users to get high.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the use of synthetic drugs has increased during the past four years with more than 11,000 people ending up in emergency rooms in 2010.

"Enforcing strong policies against the sale of synthetic drugs in your retail locations can only protect your brand reputation while also protecting our youth," the attorney generals wrote in their letter.