Pro-crime policies work. They work spectacularly, ruthlessly, and relentlessly.
A brief history of law and order is that we can either have civilization or San Francisco. Choice is ours.
Back in May, I wrote about San Francisco’s brilliant plan to give free hotel rooms, booze, and drugs to the homeless.
“People are showing up in San Francisco from other places and asking where their hotel room is,” Mayor Breed complained.
“It’s been very challenging to get even some of the residents who are part of the shelter system and our hotels to comply with the orders, to even wear masks,” Breed complained. “It’s been so much harder to really care for this population especially when they won’t comply with simple directions or the orders we’re implementing.” She described it as an, “incredible logistical challenge.”
But San Francisco is a uniquely creative place and the Health Department decided to convince the homeless to stay in their hotel rooms by delivering booze, pot, and cigarettes as part of room service.
The San Francisco Health Department claims that handing out drugs and booze to junkies with coronavirus is actually a “harm reduction practice” that has “significant individual and public health benefits”.
How significant are those public health benefits?
New numbers provided to the Chronicle show 1,070 bodies were examined by the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office from Jan. 1-Aug. 31. And 468 of them died of an overdose.
It gets worse.
That puts San Francisco on track to lose more than 700 people to drugs in 2020 — or nearly two every day. That’s a shocking rise from the 441 people who died of drug overdoses in 2019 and the 259 who died the year before that.
Of those who died of overdoses in the first eight months of this year, 28% were homeless. Seventy percent died in the heart of the city — the Tenderloin, South of Market, Nob Hill and the Inner Mission. Older Black men living alone in SRO hotels are dying at rates far higher than their portion of the city population.
And for too long, City Hall has mostly agreed. Even as it devotes tremendous time and attention to quashing COVID-19, another public health epidemic that has killed far fewer San Franciscans. As of Friday, that tally was 121. We’re a city that freaks out about a jogger running past without a mask, but doesn’t blink at someone injecting themselves in the neck on a Tenderloin sidewalk.
“I’m honestly floored,” said Supervisor Matt Haney who pushed legislation requiring quicker, more frequent reporting of drug overdose deaths. “It’s already killed four times as many people as COVID. Where’s the urgency? I’m seeing far too much business as usual.”
What exactly is the reporting going to accomplish?
San Fran effectively legalized drug use, became a magnet for junkies, began housing junkies, and feeding them drugs, and then wants better reporting of overdose deaths. The utopia commune of the United States where all the tech cash and progressive politics are concentrated is going to hell in a handbasket.
The number of fatal heroin and fentanyl overdoses in San Francisco more than doubled in 2019, according to preliminary statistics from the city’s medical examiner’s office that were obtained by The Chronicle.
There were 234 deaths that are estimated to have involved fentanyl, compared with 90 in 2018. The number of deaths where heroin appears to have played a role reached 100 last year, officials with the city’s chief medical examiner’s office estimate.
In all, officials estimate that 290 deaths were attributable to fentanyl, heroin or a combination of the two. That’s up from 134 in 2018.
The growth of the scourge is even starker when 2019’s preliminary figures are compared with those of a decade ago: In 2009, 17 deaths were linked to heroin and eight to fentanyl, a synthetic painkiller that can be as much as 100 times more potent than morphine.
Pro-crime policies work. We can have a utopia rotting with overdoses, rapes, and mob violence. Or we can have civilization.