Get Your Drugs on Craigslist? State Lawmaker Wants it to Stop

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Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 9:09 AM

click to enlarge E-MAGINE ART / FLICKR
We can think of better places than Craigslist to score drugs, especially in this age of the down-the-street medical marijuana dispensary.

But the stuff they sell on CL isn't green. It isn't even really a street drug. For the most part it appears to be prescription painkillers, the hottest narcotics on the block. South Bay state Sen. Ted Lieu has noticed, and not because he's been popping Oxycontin:

No, he's seen the ads on Craigslist advertising powerful drugs you're not supposed to get unless you have a prescription.

Lieu this week called on Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster to ban such ads. The senator joined Nevada state Sen. Tick Segerblom of the Las Vegas area in making the demand. The duo said overdose deaths were a huge problem with these meds.

In a joint statement they said:

Too often, Craigslist can be an avenue for persons to acquire such highly addictive and potent medications as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Xanax, among others. By allowing sellers to offer such drugs without a prescription as required by law, internet websites such as Craigslist.org are contributing to the increasing number of deaths associated with these highly addictive and abused drugs.

click to enlarge CRAIGSLIST
  • Craigslist

The drugs are sometimes peddled locally in CL's "Health and Beauty" section. More often than not you'll find mild stuff advertised as leftovers or no longer needed. Fake Viagra peddled as a generic form of the brand-name drug (there is no such thing) seems popular.

But sometimes the fare is fairly hardcore. A quick search of CL's L.A. site turned up about 17 recent ads regarding Oxycontin and other prescription drugs.

Craigslist's terms of use include prohibiting the "distribution, provision or receipt of illegal goods or services." But the ads still show up.

One recent listing even alleged that a couple selling the likes of Oxycontin and Xanax was armed and "will rob you."

It seems like it would be fairly easy for undercover cops to collar Craigslist dealers. But street crime is going take precedent for a department like the LAPD, which is relatively understaffed.

Lieu's office says he wants to help end "needless deaths attributed to prescription drug overdoses." And he wants Craigslist to join him.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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