CONCORD, NH — The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent a letter Feb. 9 to the CEOs of nine oil companies asking them to help eliminate any synthetic drug sales from retail locations operating under their brand names.
The letter, signed by more than 40 attorneys general from around the country, including NH Attorney General Joseph Foster, urges owners of nine major oil companies to:
- Prohibit your franchisees from selling any synthetic drugs;
- Ensure this prohibition is completely understood by your store franchisees and their
employees by communicating directly with each of them;
- Establish a point of contact in your corporate office for your franchisees, should they have questions about synthetic drugs;
- Revoke your franchisee/franchisor relationship with any gas station or convenience store that sells any kind of synthetic drug;
- Provide your franchisees with ongoing instruction or training about the dangers of
synthetic drugs; and
- Report to local law enforcement authorities if you learn that any franchisee is selling
On Feb. 5 NH SB 106 was introduced to legislators, calling for a statewide ban of sales of synthetic drugs.
Over the past few years, dozens of owners, managers, and employees of branded gas stations and convenience stores have been arrested for selling synthetic drugs.
Synthetic drugs are chemical alternatives to cocaine, marijuana, and
methamphetamine. They are illegal and are often just as dangerous, if not more, than the substances they mimic.
During the summer of 2014 Manchester first responders were inundated with calls for service after a “bad batch” of synthetic drugs, aka “spice” was being sold.
That led to Gov. Maggie Hassan calling for a state of emergency over the public health threat posed by the synthetic drug sales.
Synthetic drugs started appearing in gas stations, tobacco shops and liquor stores over the last seven years. In 2010, more than 11,000 people, many of whom were younger than 17, went to the emergency room after using synthetic marijuana.
“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,” reads the Feb. 9 letter signed by 43 state and
territorial attorneys general, “…we are extremely troubled that these drugs have been readily available in well-known retail locations.”
The attorneys general are asking the oil companies to take immediate action, including prohibiting franchisees from selling any synthetic drugs and revoking the company relationship with any station or convenience store that sells any kind of synthetic drug.
The complete NAAG letter with signatures is uploaded below.