'It's Our Choice To Use': Drug Users Erupt After San Francisco Moves To Tie Welfare to Drug Testing

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September 29, 2023

Drug users are upset with the San Francisco city government after the mayor proposed drug tests be required for recipients of welfare.

"It’s our choice to use if we want to use," resident Amy Brown said of the policy, which Democratic mayor London Breed proposed this week as a measure to fight the city's homelessness and crime epidemic that's causing businesses to flee.

"I want to cry just thinking about it," Shelly Brown, another resident, told the San Francisco Chronicle in interviews the paper conducted with drug users.

"What are they going to do, starve to death?" resident Clayton Johnson said. "What if they have kids? How are you just going to cut them off?"

Breed this week said the proposal would bring "accountability."

"We need to make a significant change," Breed said. "No more ‘anything goes’ without accountability, no more handouts without accountability."

The measure needs the approval of the city's Board of Supervisors to go into effect. Some see the proposal as an attempt by Breed to fight for her political life as numerous challengers have joined the upcoming mayoral race, campaigning on promises to address crime.

A survey by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association found that of 74 respondents to a survey of restaurant owners in San Francisco, just 3 percent said they had not experienced vandalism or property crime in the last month.

Three Target stores are shutting down in the San Francisco area. The city's office market hit a record 33.9 percent vacancy rate in the third quarter, according to data from the real estate company CBRE reported by the Chronicle. Almost 30 million square feet is listed for lease or sublease in the city.

Published under: Crime , San Francisco