Lawmakers Urge Craigslist CEO To Remove Illegal Rx Drug Ads

Over the past three weeks, two lawmakers from California and Nevada have sent letters to the CEO of Craigslist demanding that the site "stop encouraging or participating in" the illegal sale of prescription drugs, the Los Angeles Times reports.

According to U.S. drug laws, individuals other than registered physicians or patients with valid prescriptions cannot possess narcotic painkillers or other controlled drugs.

However, certain advertisements on Craigslist -- a popular online marketplace for various products -- seek to sell such medication to any willing buyers (Girion/Glover, Los Angeles Times, 9/19).

Details of Letters

California Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrence) and Nevada Sen. Tick Segerblom (D) sent the letters, which date back to Aug. 30.

In a joint statement, the lawmakers said that "Craigslist can be an avenue for persons to acquire ... highly addictive and potent medications," such as:

  • OxyContin;
  • Vicodin;
  • Xanax; and
  • Other drugs.

"By allowing sellers to offer such drugs without a prescription as required by law, Internet websites such as are contributing to the increasing number of deaths associated with these highly addictive and abused drugs," the lawmakers added (Lieu release, 9/19).

In his letter, Lieu said he will seek action from law enforcement if Craigslist does not begin deleting ads that seek to sell prescription drugs.

Response From Craigslist

Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster has not yet responded to the lawmakers' letters.

However, Craig Newmark -- founder of the website -- said that the company has a policy against posting ads for illegal activities. The policy bans ads for the "distribution, provision or receipt of illegal goods or services."

The website also states that the company has the "right, but not the obligation, to regulate content" (Los Angeles Times, 9/19).

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