San Francisco Is Allowing People to Use Drugs Inside New Tenderloin Treatment Linkage Center

San Francisco is allowing people to use drugs in an outdoor area of Mayor London Breed’s new Tenderloin Linkage Center in United Nations Plaza, interviews and Chronicle observations confirm.

Several people told The Chronicle in interviews Tuesday that they had used drugs inside the fenced-in area bordering the center’s entrance on U.N. Plaza. In addition to the outdoor area, the city offers basic hygiene services, food, clothing and connections to services such as treatment and housing on the first floor of the seven-story building.

The mayor’s spokesperson, Jeff Cretan, said in an email that the “emergency initiative is about doing everything we can to help people struggling with addiction, and getting them connected to services and treatment. As part of that, the linkage center is serving as a low-barrier site to bring people off the street.”

The revelation that people are using drugs at the week-old site was first reported on the Substack newsletter of Michael Shellenberger, an author who has criticized progressive policies in San Francisco he sees as too permissive.

Addiction experts and advocates differ on whether allowing those who struggle with substance use disorder to get high at the site will help them get connected to treatment, with some saying it acknowledges a necessary reality on a journey to get help and others calling it counterproductive.

Shellenberger accused the city of running an “illicit drug consumption site” and a “supervised drug consumption area,” which is currently illegal under state and federal law.

Francis Zamora, a spokesperson for the Department of Emergency Management, which is running the linkage center, denied the city was operating a supervised consumption site. San Francisco is working to follow New York City in opening such a site, which would provide medical supervision and clean supplies, despite its questionable legal status.

Even if city officials are turning a blind eye to illegal drug use, they’re unlikely to face legal liability, said Robert Weisberg, a Stanford law professor and co-director of the school’s Criminal Justice Center.

“Prosecutors have almost unreviewable discretion not to bring a charge,” Weisberg said. “I don’t think anybody would have standing to complain,” he said, because it would be hard for an individual to show he or she was injured by San Francisco’s actions or inactions.

Click here to read the full article at the SF Chronicle

Comments

  1. What’s next? Free corner drug dispensing machines. Surely they jest? So we give them permission to unlawfully use these drugs which enables them to get brazen enough to attack, cripple and in many cases even kill innocent people. The ignorance in this State’s administration is overwhelming and their cockiness since they believe we have no standing. Have they ever heard about MALFEASANCE ?? One would wonder.

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