New York also seems to be following San Francisco’s lead regarding drug use in public.
A BuzzFeed story in May noted that the city’s explosion of public drug use has “tested San Francisco’s image as a liberal, compassionate urban oasis” and that, according to the city’s Department of Public Health, “there are about 22,000 intravenous drug users in the city, or about 470 per square mile.” Few want to live in a place where you risk stepping on a discarded needle, as San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell actually did.
Yet, also in May, Mayor Bill de Blasio told police to stop arresting people for smoking marijuana in public starting Aug. 1, and the city plans to open four “safe injection sites” where heroin users can shoot up under the supervision of a doctor.
The concern about both of these policies is that, like in San Francisco, there will be a slide in what’s permissible. I’ve written before in support of decriminalizing marijuana use, but permitting public drug use is something else entirely.