WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton demanded a gas station owner stop selling synthetic marijuana during a protest outside his gas station in DC on Tuesday.
The community protest took place at the Exxon located at 2652 Benning Rd. NE, where synthetic marijuana – commonly referred to as “K2” – is frequently sold.
During the protest, Norton walked over to the business, which is located directly across the street from Spingarn High School, and spoke with the manager about ceasing to sell the synthetic drug. She was able to make him promise to stop selling K2 in any form, and to discard what he had on hand, but not before confronting him with proof that he had tried selling it earlier that day.
Earlier, the same manager attempted to convince a resident prior to the protest that he did not sell K2 , even though a member of Norton’s staff had successfully purchased two packages of the product, labeled “Scooby Snax”, at $10 apiece.
Norton held the brightly-colored packages up to the manager, who then showed her a list of jurisdictions where K2 is banned; pointing out that DC is not on the list.
The District of Columbia is currently going through the legislative process of strengthening its laws against the drug, something with which Norton is very much involved. She informed him the federal government had already barred the sale of K2, a bill which President Obama signed into law in July.
She then noted the proximity of the station to the neighboring high school, as well as Phelps High School and River Terrace Elementary, and asked the owner – Mohammad B. Arif – for his word that he would no longer sell the drug in any of its varying forms.
Arif gave her his word he would stop selling the product immediately, and gave his business card, then welcomed members of the community to verify his compliance moving forward.