Former San Francisco Mayor Says City ‘Too Permissive’ With Drug Culture

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

San Francisco has become “too permissive” even for the city’s former Democratic mayor, Gavin Newsom.

Newsom, who is now California’s lieutenant governor and a candidate for governor, met with The San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board last week. The paper reported the comments Sunday.

Although he has always promoted “progressive” approaches to drug use, Newsom admits he was “hardened by reality” while mayor as he watched drug use and its consequences encroach upon the city’s population.

“You can be too permissive, and I happened to think we have crossed that threshold in this state – and not just in this city. You see it. It’s just disgraceful,” he told the board.

“People shooting up on the streets and sidewalks, where kids are in strollers, is not acceptable – it’s just not,” The Chronicle quotes Newsom as saying.

“When you are accountable to quality of life, and accountable to diverse communities, you cannot allow the streets to be taken over.” (RELATED: Drug Users Openly Shoot Up In San Francisco Metro Station [VIDEO])

San Francisco’s current mayor, London Breed, is encouraging an even more permissive approach to drug use and is trying to initiate a supervised injection site program that operates in many Canadian and European cities. Newsom wouldn’t condemn the program but questioned whether it really helps get addicts off drugs. He told The Chronicle that, according to information relayed by San Francisco’s Homeless Outreach Team, “San Francisco is too complicit as it relates to drug use on the streets, and unless that changes they don’t think injection sites alone will … solve the issue.”

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