San Francisco Promotes Illegal Drug Use, Overdose Deaths 'Skyrocket'

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

San Francisco launched a “bizarre medical experiment” in which the city helps the homeless use illegal drugs. Environmental and urbanization writer Michael Shellenberger notes that since the pandemic began, the city has lost twice as many residents to drug overdoses than to COVID.


“The city is carrying out a bizarre medical experiment whereby addicts are given everything they need to maintain their addiction — cash, hot meals, shelter — in exchange for . . . almost nothing,” Shellenberger reports in a Substack column.

You can go and witness all of this if you simply walk down Market Street and peek your head over a newly erected fence in the southwest corner of United Nations Plaza. You will see that the city is permitting people to openly use and even deal drugs in a cordoned-off area of the public square.

The local mother of a 24-year-old homeless woman compares the city’s essentially pro-drug policy to “handing a loaded gun to a suicidal person.”

Despite promises in January from “progressive” Mayor London Breed to “put an end to all the bullshit destroying our city,” her own government is running “a supervised drug consumption site in United Nations Plaza.”

That’s a nice part of town, too. Or was.

The drug sale-and-use site is touted by local officials as a “Linkage Center” where homeless addicts can find treatment and housing.

The Linkage Center has been open for nearly two weeks, “treating” over 200 people each day. Shellenberger was told that out of the many addicts who have gone through the site, a total of two have gone through detox.

The rest, apparently, are opening, using, or even selling drugs like meth, heroin, and fentanyl.

Someone with “firsthand knowledge” of what’s going on at Linkage texted Shellenberger to describe the scene: “What’s happening is that everyone that comes in gets a meal, can use the bathroom, gets drug supplies (needles, foil, pipes), and signs up for a ‘housing assessment.’ But there’s no housing. So nothing happens. They just get added to a list.”


The city is handing out everything but the drugs themselves.

You really should read Shellenberger’s whole report.

Recommended: San Francisco Police Commissioner: Arrests Won’t Stop Crime

In 2020, when #DefundThePolice was all the rage, Breed was pleased to announce that she’d cut $120 million from the budgets of the city’s police and sheriff’s department. That move was lauded by the Biden White House as recently as December of 2021.

Mayor Breed hasn’t been in the news much, last seen at last week’s 49ers-Rams NFC championship game with Governor Gavin Newsom — both maskless despite city and state mandates.

Theft and burglaries are both way up in recent years:

Burglaries are also still at high rates, with 7,217 recorded in 2021, just a few hundred fewer than the year before but more than 40% higher than 2019 levels. That number is particularly notable, given the Louis Vuitton smash-and-grab that reached national headlines late last year.

Larceny theft is perhaps the crime with the most significant uptick from 2020, with a 21% increase — and a 39% increase of “theft from vehicle.” That said, these numbers are still lower than 2019’s. In 2019, 42,022 larceny thefts were recorded by San Francisco police — last year, there were 31,139. (Larceny theft — and property theft in general — is one of the more underreported crimes in the city, especially among business owners who say that it is not worth reporting them to police.)

Organized Retail Crime (ORC) rings have been given virtually free rein in the city, forcing some local retail stores out of business. But the increasing number of petty thefts is likely about getting drug money, which can then be exchanged for drugs under the city’s own Linkage Center auspices.


But #DefundThePolice is so last year, and residents are getting fed up with rising crime.

So now Breed is humming a different tune.

She claims to have ramped up anti-crime efforts, including an “emergency intervention plan” for the seedy Tenderloin district and BLM-approved “alternative response teams” instead of actual police officers. And, of course, now the crime-and-death spewing Linkage Center.

Breed recently warned in a tweet that “we also need to invest in our officers.”

Huh. I wonder why that is.


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