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New drug arrest data sheds light on people cited in San Francisco

New data sheds light on people who were cited for drug use in San Francisco over the past year. Only 53% said they were San Francisco residents.

The information comes as the city continues efforts to crack down on open air drug markets and as voters will soon decide on a controversial ballot measure.

Now, the city is taking a closer look at what’s happening and what it could mean.

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey sees it this way.

“We have known that there is a phenomenon of drug tourism,” he said. “Some of it may have to do with some of the generous benefits that we provide.”

Dorsey believes with the deadly fentanyl crisis the city is racing against the clock.

“We gotta do everything we can to desensitize San Francisco being a destination for drug-related behavior and we have to do everything we can to incentivize recovery and support,” he said.

New numbers show just over 50% of people arrested for substance use identified as living in San Francisco.

But just over 6% of the people arrested for substance, use who are also receiving city cash assistance are not living in the city. Numbers that are getting a closer look.

Trent Rhoher, the executive director of the San Francisco Human Services Agency gave his thoughts.

“The cash grant in San Francisco is $712, which is twice the state average,” he said. “Our assumption based on these numbers is that individuals are coming here again because of the high cash grants in relation to other counties and submitting false documents to eligible for the aid.”

The information comes as the city of San Francisco has worked to shut down street drug markets.

Next week, San Francisco voters will weigh in Proposition F.

“Right now, we have people addicted to opioids and fentanyl, who are using cash assistance, who are using taxpayer dollars to purchase the drug that then harms themselves. Ultimately, invariably leading to their death. So Prop F says the city will no longer allow that to happen instead will offer treatment in exchange for that assistance,” said Rhoher.

Sarah Short, a coordinator for the “No on F” campaign reacted to the recent report.

“These numbers don’t change at all the actions that we need to take today address the overdose crisis, nor does it change the fact that proposition F will be ineffective and not reduce overdose deaths and in fact, be counterproductive in that it will create more homelessness in San Francisco,” Short said.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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