<< Non-Reproduced Results | Main | Waivers, Advisements, and the Totality of the Circumstances >>

How to Wreck a City

Alex Titus has an article in the City Journal titled Left Coast Lawlessness.

The anarchy and disorder dominating progressive cities across the West Coast recently hit a new low in Seattle. King County officials are looking to roll out a "safe injection van," a legal venue at which addicts could shoot up illegal drugs unhindered and "safely." The first of its kind in the United States, the van would manage to undermine further the rule of law while also doing little to help addicts. Seattle's urban decay goes deeper, though, with skyrocketing rates of homelessness, an explosion in opioid usage and deaths, and spikes in violent crime.
Seattle's predicament is emblematic of the broader crises faced by many progressive West Coast cities, where local leaders have forced law enforcement to take a hands-off approach to policing unsanctioned tent cities and vagrancy at the expense of public safety and health. San Francisco, long considered a model of progressive urban policy, is plagued by filth, chaos, and public-safety hazards. Local leaders plan to spend an incredible $305 million on combatting homelessness for the current fiscal year alone, but disorder spreads as the city fails to enforce the rule of law and basic sanitary measures. Block-by-block surveillance reveals the deterioration of downtown San Francisco. Of 153 city blocks surveyed, 41 contained used drug needles and 96 had human feces present. Tourists are dismayed to leave their downtown hotels, to be confronted by mentally ill and aggressive homeless people who are taking control of the streets. University of California Berkeley professor Lee Riley, an expert on infectious disease, observes that some of San Francisco's streets are dirtier than Third World slums.


Over a year ago, in the wake of considerable research showing harm-reduction benefits, the American Medical Association endorsed safe-injection sites, as detailed at this release: https://www.ama-assn.org/ama-wants-new-approaches-combat-synthetic-and-injectable-drugs

Here is a quote from the release:

"In an effort to consider promising strategies that could reduce the health and societal problems associated with injection drug use, the AMA today voted to support the development of pilot facilities where people who use intravenous drugs can inject self-provided drugs under medical supervision.

"Studies from other countries have shown that supervised injection facilities reduce the number of overdose deaths, reduce transmission rates of infectious disease, and increase the number of individuals initiating treatment for substance use disorders without increasing drug trafficking or crime in the areas where the facilities are located."

Whether Europe's safe injection sites are "successful" is highly debatable and depends in part on how one defines "success."

That said, it probably was a mistake for the author to lead with that point. Other points about the deterioration of our cities are less debatable, such as sidewalks filled with needles, vomit, and feces or being unable to walk two blocks without being confronted with a panhandler so aggressive that his solicitation borders on robbery.

We do not have these problems in Ohio, at least where I walk around, so come visit!

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives