San Francisco police say it has become nearly impossible to get a drug conviction in many parts of the city, turning communities like the Tenderloin into a drug free-for-all where users and dealers from other parts of the state flock to take advantage.
The San Francisco Chronicle recently scoped out some of the anarchic scenes in parts of the Bay City:
Police say drug dealers from the East Bay ride BART into San Francisco every day to prey on the addicts slumped on our sidewalks, and yet the city that claims to so desperately want to help those addicts often looks the other way.
You can walk through the Tenderloin, Civic Center, South of Market and the Mission and easily spot men handing over little plastic baggies with drugs in exchange for cash like it’s no big thing. In broad daylight. In front of pedestrians. Even in front of police.
An officer the publication spoke with called much of the city “an open-air narcotics market.”
It doesn’t take a sociologist to draw conclusions here. San Francisco’s drug problem has contributed to one of the worst homelessness crises in the nation.
Newly-elected San Francisco Mayor London Breed has vowed to root out homelessness in her city. But experts say it will require a cold, hard look at addiction and policing, not just housing.
In the midst of all this, U.S. News and World Report says Breed is considering a safe drug injection site in San Francisco despite a veto by Gov. Jerry Brown last weekend. You can read more about that here.