TOPEKA (KSNT) — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has teamed up with 42 other attorneys general across the United States to crack down on synthetic drugs, and they’re asking nine major petroleum companies for help.
Local law enforcement has been working for years to get substances known as “K2” or “Spice” off the streets, and although Topeka has seen a sharp decline in availability since 2013, Officer Victor Riggin of the Topeka Police Department says it’s still a problem.
“It’s not safe. It’s very toxic and it’s very dangerous,” said Officer Riggin.
Yet because it creates a marijuana-like buzz, it’s very popular – especially among teenage boys.
The trouble is, many of those substances are often available at your local convenience store, and every time lawmakers ban one, manufacturers change the chemical composition and create a new one.
That’s why Derek Schmidt and other Attorneys General are asking companies like Phillips 66, Valero, Shell and BP to eliminate the products from their stores.
“You know, these are reputable companies that are national and international in their presence and stature. I’m certain they have no interest in having dangerous or illegal substances sold by their franchisees or on their shelves,” said Schmidt.
Several local stores are already at that point, but others are attracted to the profits.
“They were buying the bags at $7 a bag and then selling them for $35 a bag,” said Officer Riggin.
There’s no guarantee the petroleum companies will choose to cooperate, but if they do Riggin says we’d be one step closer to getting it off the streets.
To date, several states have passed laws trying to regulate the sale of synthetic marijuana and the US Congress is also considering a bill that would ban all the compounds.