Attorney General Launches Effort to Combat Synthetic Drugs

Photo by PoPville flickr user Phil

@anotherjonah tweets us:

@PoPville follow up on Aida Electronics post from 12/5, AG Racine’s office says OAG has filed a drug-nuisance case against the owner”

From a press release:

“Attorney General Karl A. Racine today announced that the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) launched a concerted initiative to end the sales of dangerous synthetic drugs in the District and filed an action against a Petworth convenience store for sales of synthetic cannabinoids.

The drugs are sometimes referred to as “synthetic marijuana” because they purport to mimic the effects of THC, the operative chemical in cannabis. However, synthetic drugs often contain hallucinogens and other chemicals and are highly dangerous – and sometimes even deadly – because they are unregulated and inconsistent in their contents. The manufacturers of these drugs often market them to children, with name brands like “Scooby Snax” and colorful packaging bearing images of cartoon characters.

“People may think that something called ‘synthetic marijuana’ is largely harmless – but that’s far removed from the extremely dangerous truth of these drugs,” Attorney General Racine said. “The Office of the Attorney General has launched an all-out effort to end the sales of these chemicals to District residents – and particularly to our children, who are preyed on by the unscrupulous manufacturers and purveyors of these drugs.”

OAG’s Neighborhood and Victim Services Unit has filed a complaint against the owners of 3661 Georgia Avenue NW, where the Amanuel Market operates, under the District’s public-nuisance laws. OAG has also filed Notices of Unlawful Activity against the owners of 800 Upshur Street NW and 3653 Georgia Avenue NW because of repeated instances of selling synthetic drugs. The owners of those properties are working with OAG to comply with the law. Additionally, OAG has filed a drug-nuisance case against the owner of Aida’s Electronics at 209 Florida Avenue NW in Ward 5.

In February, Attorney General Racine joined attorneys general from 43 states and territories in a letter asking nine oil companies to collaborate with their franchisees to eliminate synthetic drugs from gas stations and convenience stores operating under their brand names.”

15 Comment

  • I hope the DC AG is also looking into Riyad Market and the other corner stores in Petworth. Some have been long time problems for the neighborhood.

    • Riyad or Riad as they spell it two different ways depending on if you are looking at it from Upshur or 8th Street, is 800 Upshur Street (which is referenced by address in this article). Totally agree.

  • I hope the AG is looking into the selling of actual drugs too. We have an open air drug market on our block in Petworth and the police pretty much don’t seem to care.

    • I don’t think that a “Cease and Desist” order is going to do much good in that regard.

    • Without police making arrests you probably can’t get the AG office to do anything. They need the police work to happen first. Two things you can do. First call 911 and report the drug activity. Petworth residents have been told to do this at PSA (Police Service Area) meetings by our police, since it is suspicious activity in our neighborhoods. Second get someone in your ANC to help address it. If your ANC commissioner is not responsive reach out to other nearby commissioners. Do you know if you are in 4C or 4D?

      • 4D. It’s a pretty well known corner and completely obvious (i.e. a veritable parade of MD plates idling outside and honking of someone doesn’t bring them drugs fast enough) but for whatever reason police don’t seem to care.

        • There is a public safety meeting with At Large Councilmember Anita Bonds April 25, 10-1130 at the Swift above Safeway. It is ANC 4C and 1A specifically, but 4D neighbors came to the last one and voiced concerns. CM Bonds, to my pleasant surprise, has been very receptive to requests for help addressing crime with our lack of a Council member. I would try reaching out to Nancy Roth or David Sheon. They seem responsive on the listserv to neighborhood concerns. Lastly if you go to a PSA or ANC meeting don’t settle for talking to the police on the side about particular concerns. Try to make it publicly known so there is continual recognition of the known addresses of concern. It takes a lot of repeat effort.

    • Synthetics are “actual drugs.”

  • This is great. I have absolutely no problems with marijuana, but that synthetic stuff is a whole other beast.

    • clevelanddave

      So why are the synthetics to your mind completely dangerous and “natural” marijuana completely safe? THC is the primary active ingredient in both. IMHO both can potentially be very dangerous.

      • The synthetic stuff does not have THC in it, only chemicals that attempt to mimic the effects. The synthetic stuff is far, far more dangerous than marijuana. The poster didn’t say that marijuana was completely safe just that they had no problems with it. Casting things as black and white misses the details, nuances and gray areas of whether something is dangerous or not and taking into account risk vs. reward. Why do you think marijuana is potentially dangerous? I ask as smoker since 1997.

  • So Riad (800 Upshur) and that other place on 3653 Georgia Ave are caught REPEATED times selling synthetic drugs and the OAG is working with them to comply with the law?! Why don’t they just pull out their business licence and close them?!

  • I figure the best way to get rid of dangerous, synthetic drugs is to legalize and regulate safe drugs, like marijuana.

  • I’d always wondered how THREE mini-marts managed to stay in business directly across a CVS, in that sorry little strip of retail* on the east side of Georgia Avenue. I guess this is part of the answer; two of the three are selling synthetic drugs.
    * From north to south: check-cashing place, Amanuel Market, beauty-supply place, takeout joint (apparently closed), vacant space (formerly a hardware store), apparently nameless mini-mart at 3653 Georgia Avenue, and King’s Deli (another mini-mart).
    I think the decrepit takeout joint is now closed, but it looked equally bad (or even worse) when it was definitively in operation, so it’s hard to tell.

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