D.C. Officials Crack Down on Synthetic Drug Sales

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said he's cracking down on convenience stores illegally selling synthetic drugs.

The attorney general's office has filed complaints against half a dozen convenience stores in the Petworth neighborhood.

City officials said the stores are selling illegal synthetic drugs and marketing them to young people. Lawyers said the drugs, such as synthetic marijuana, can be dangerous and addictive.

"I think it's a significant problem," Attorney General Racine said. "To the extent that we can under law, and we think there are good theories there, we will shut these businesses down."

He said many stores have stopped selling synthetic substances that have been illegal since 2012.

"Most of the stores are responsible, and they do not want to sell these things to kids," Racine said. "Other stores, frankly, are profiting, and that's the people who we're going to focus our energies on."

News4 could not reach owners of the convenience stores for comment, but some clerks said their stores were no longer selling synthetic drugs.

Some Petworth residents welcomed the crackdown on synthetic drug sales.

Chico Bui, who lives near the intersection of Georgia Avenue NW and New Hampshire Avenue NW, said his daughters and other children play in a nearby park, just steps away from one convenience store cited in the complaint for selling synthetic marijuana.

"You'll see people smoking the synthetic drugs, right on the park benches in that drug free zone," he said.

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