Fed-Up San Fran Voters Set To Expand Police Power, Drug-Screen Welfare Recipients

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Mar 01, 2024 - 10:20 PM

Fed up with a city ravaged by crime and drug addiction and shedding theft-plagued businesses weekly, voters in ultra-liberal San Francisco are poised to approve a ballot measure that would require illegal-drug screening for recipients of city benefits, and another that would give police more power and less oversight.  

That's the finding of a San Francisco Chamber of Commerce poll, in which 61% of likely voters said they back both measures on the March 5 ballot. It's a population that's increasingly aware of its trajectory: 71% say the city is on the wrong track. 

“The pendulum is swinging,” 41-year-old resident Malcolm Weitz tells the Wall Street Journal. “It’s coming hard-core back to the center.” He says he he'll vote yes on both propositions, completing a major philosophical u-turn. Weitz voted for progressive district attorney Chesa Boudin in 2019, only to vote to kick him out in the successful 2022 recall drive. 

Now, he and other residents are ready to sic the cops on the criminals. Proposition E would remove several shackles from law enforcers, authorizing them to:

  • Engage in more high-speed chases
  • Use drones during pursuits
  • Install more cameras in public places and test electronic surveillance methods -- with less oversight
  • File fewer reports about their use of force
  • Substitute body-camera footage for other types of documentation 

Little of that would address the scourge of increasingly brazen shoplifters, which is encouraged by 2014's Prop 47, which turned thefts valued under $950 into mere misdemeanors. In an eye-rollingly limp-wristed effort to impose more accountability, state legislators in January proposed making jail time mandatory after a THIRD theft conviction.  

Proposition F endeavors to cut off city handouts to people likely to take the money and shoot it into their veins. It doesn't cover everyone, however, and the wording of the measure doesn't imply it will precipitate universal drug-testing: 

Shall the City require single adults age 65 and under with no dependent children who receive City public assistance benefits and whom the City reasonably suspects are dependent on illegal drugs to participate in screening, evaluation and treatment for drug dependency for those adults to be eligible for most of those benefits?

People who decline the screening, evaluation and treatment would be terminated and, depending on whether they're homeless, would receive a final 30 days of shelter access or rent paid direct to the landlord, according to San Francisco Public Press

Embattled San Francisco Mayor London Breed backs two ballot measures intended to pull the city out of the abyss (Eric Risberg/AP via Politico)

San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who's under fire as the city collapses and is facing multiple primary challengers to her 2024 reelection bid, is backing both measures. Striking a decidedly un-progressive tone in September, Breed said of the drug-screening requirement, "No more handouts without accountability. People are not accepting help. Now, it’s time to make sure that we are cutting off resources that continue to allow this behavior.”

As we wrote Monday, the latest indication that San Francisco is reaching new depths of despair comes with reports that a hardware store is now requiring shoppers who want to peruse its merchandise to be accompanied by an employee escort.