Attorney General Denn Urges Oil Companies to Eliminate Synthetic Drug Sales At Gas Stations

Attorney General Matt Denn recently joined with 42 of his counterparts in asking the CEOs of nine oil companies to eliminate any synthetic drug sales from retail locations operating under their brand names.

Synthetic drugs started appearing in gas stations, tobacco shops and liquor stores over the last seven years. In 2010, more than 11,000 people nationally – many of whom were younger than 17 – went to the emergency room after using synthetic marijuana, and in 2011 the number was more than 28,000.

“The impact and dangerousness of synthetic drugs has become clear in Delaware. In 2011, a man high on the synthetic drug known as bath salts killed New Castle County Police Lt. Joseph Szczerba,” Attorney General Denn said. “Delaware lawmakers passed legislation making bath salts illegal following that incident, but new varieties of synthetic drugs continue to be created, and none of them should be available at stores in Delaware or anywhere.”

The contents and effects of synthetic drugs are unpredictable due to a changing variety of chemicals used in manufacturing processes that are devoid of quality controls and regulatory oversight.
The letter asks company officials to prohibit franchisees from selling any synthetic drugs, revoke the franchisee/franchisor relationship with any gas station or convenience store that sells any kind of synthetic drug, and report to local law enforcement if they learn that any franchisee is selling synthetic drugs.

Companies receiving the letter with the request from the state Attorneys General included BP, Phillips 66, Chevron, Shell, Citgo, Sunoco, Exxon Mobil, Valero, and Marathon Petroleum.

The state and territorial Attorneys General offices that signed the letter are: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, 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.