The Attorney General or Georgia has a good bully pulpit because he can potentially bring wide-ranging civil and criminal actions. He, and 42 other Attorneys General, have put oil companies* on notice that they need to step up:
The attorneys general request the following actions be considered by these oil companies to address this growing problem:
- Prohibit franchisees from selling any synthetic drugs;
- Ensure this prohibition is understood by store franchisees and their employees by communicating directly with each of them;
- Establish a point of contact in corporate offices for franchisees, should they have any questions about synthetic drugs;
- Revoke franchisee/franchisor relationship with any gas station or convenience store that sells any kind of synthetic drugs; and
- Report to local law enforcement authorities if any franchisee is selling synthetic drugs.
Although this is structured as a request, this is the first step in holding the oil companies responsible for the actions their retailers (read as gas stations) take. Georgia has already outlawed the sale on Synthetic Marijuana, but policing the sale of all of these retailers is a huge and expensive job. It is also one much more easily handled by the oil companies – but only if you give them an incentive to do. BP, for instance, defends itself against suits by insisting it has no role or ability to control its retailers. It did so here in Georgia in the teen death than gave rise to Chase’s law, outlawing synthetic marijuana.
Failure to adopt these policies might give rise to potential legal action, which is why when 43 Attorneys general sign a letter asking you to do something, it is best to do it.
*Specifically British Petroleum, Chevron Corporation, Citgo Petroleum Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Phillips 66, Shell Oil Company, Sunoco, and Valero Energy Corporation.