SF Mayor London Breed introduces legislation for supervised drug-use site

J.R. Stone Image
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
SF officials pushing for supervised drug site that may fight addiction
San Francisco Mayor London Breed has introduced legislation that 'could' be an initial step in allowing a supervised drug use site in the city.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed has introduced legislation that could be an initial step in allowing a supervised drug-use site in the city.

It's something that is not technically legal in the state or the nation but something that local officials believe could help San Francisco's drug epidemic.

The building at 822 Geary Boulevard in San Francisco's Tenderloin was boarded up with graffiti on it Tuesday but that could soon change. The mayor would like the city to buy it so it could possibly be used as a supervised drug-use site.

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San Francisco Mayor London Breed acknowledged that when it comes to the homeless population in the city there are a lot of mental health challenges, a lot of drug addiction and other issues that are impacting San Francisco residents.

"I live one block from the site. There are people who are using and shooting up all over this neighborhood and they are dying on our streets," says SF District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney who is in favor of the plan. One that addresses last year's 700 deaths on SF streets due to drug overdoses.

"It's unacceptable for people to be walking down the street, families seeing folks who are injecting out in public, and then folks are dying out on our streets. We've got to get them inside and we've got to get them help," says Haney.

This is a controversial move though because technically a supervised drug use or safe injection site is illegal.

"Under the Trump administration they made it clear, you open up we will shut you down and you will be criminally liable because injecting drugs is against the law and if a city helps with that, they're breaking the law," says ABC7 News Insider Phil Matier.

State Senator Scott Wiener has authored a bill that would make safe injection sites legal on a state level in San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles. He is in support of making the San Francisco location a safe drug use site.

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"I'd be really surprised if Joe Biden took the same right-wing position as Donald Trump. No kid should have to see that and have to step over people who are shooting up or potentially stepping on a syringe. We don't want that in our neighborhoods," says Wiener.

But will it work?

"I'm not sure that the people who are shooting up drugs on the streets right now in the tenderloin are going to say, 'Hey wait a minute I want to go over to this safe site'. They're going to do it when they get it," says Matier.

As for the next step, there is still a long way to go, and a decision may not be made on this issue until well into next year.