On Tuesday, Board of Supervisors president Aaron Peskin demanded that San Francisco Mayor London Breed close down “drug supermarkets” in 90 days, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. “That ain’t gonna happen,” Stephon Fowler, a drug dealer on Sixth Street, told the outlet.
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“There’s too much going on out here, and unless they bring in the Army, Navy and Marines, that’s not going to change,” he said.
Daryl Dietrich, another homeless man, also doubts the ability of the city to contain rampant drug use. “There’s too many of us,” he said from his wheelchair while balancing glass pipes and foil for drug consumption.
Members of the National Guard and Highway Patrol started setting up shop in some of the city’s hot spots, but that hasn’t seemed to have a noticeable effect. So far, their presence has moved drug dealing to the outer limits of the area, rather than disbanding it, according to the Chronicle.
Shop owners within the Tenderloin, the San Francisco area most rife with drug use, told the Chronicle they are not optimistic for any enforcement of lawlessness.
“See the crackheads outside my door?” said business owner Willie Masarweh.
“They’re still smiling; we’re not,” Masarweh said. “I think some 90-day plan is do-able if in City Hall their intentions and hearts are in the same place – police, DA, rehab, supervisors, everyone.”
“As long as we have a bunch of freebies – food, needles, clothes – there’s no incentive for them to stop,” he said.
“I call the TL (Tenderloin) the ‘belly of the beast,’ and the only thing that could get me to stop would be God,” said Fowler. “I boost, I sell everything – meth, fentanyl, crack,” he said.
A recent poll by Probolsky Research found that 73% of San Franciscans were unhappy with the trajectory of the city, and almost 60% of voters viewed Breed unfavorably. Crime has been central to San Francisco residents’ disdain, with a CityBeat poll finding that only 30% of residents feel safe at night.
In 2022, Breed’s plan to address public drug use was a building called the “linkage center,” which aimed to introduce addicts to treatment while providing them with the materials needed to use drugs, like alcohol swabs and clean needles. It shuttered after a little over a year over complaints of open-air drug use and crime, according to ABC 7.
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