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San Francisco may vote to give cops more power, force some welfare recipients into drug treatment: 'Some tough love'
Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu via Getty Images

San Francisco may vote to give cops more power, force some welfare recipients into drug treatment: 'Some tough love'

One of the most liberal cities in America may soon agree to give police more freedom to fight crime and force some welfare recipients into some kind of drug treatment program.

On Tuesday, residents of San Francisco, California, will have the opportunity to vote on two measures designed to curtail rising crime and drug problems in the city.

The first measure, Proposition E, would relax some of the restrictions placed on cops. If passed, officers would be allowed to use their vehicles to chase suspects in cases of violent misdemeanors, and not just violent felonies, as permitted by current law.

The measure would also make it easier for police to purchase surveillance equipment, such as drones and cameras, to help locate and identify suspects. Currently, they must first get approval from the board of supervisors before purchasing such items.

The second measure, Proposition F, would require single adults on the public dole to submit to a drug test to continue receiving assistance, which amounts to about $700 a month. Any recipient who tests positive for illegal drugs will have to enroll in treatment or lose their monthly welfare check.

Such welfare recipients will not, however, have to pass the drug test. They will just need to make an effort to complete their program successfully and stay sober. According to the Telegraph, those who lose their assistance will be given shelter for 30 days or a housing stipend to keep them off the streets.

The welfare program application for single adults already asks prospective recipients about illegal drugs, and nearly 20% of applicants admit to using them, the Daily Mail reported. However, data from the Department of Public Health indicates that as many as one-third have been diagnosed with some kind of substance abuse disorder, the outlet said.

Recent polls show that more than 60% of San Franciscans support both propositions, prompting some to believe that the city may have grown tired of feel-good, far-left policies regarding law and order. "The pendulum is swinging," said Malcolm Weitz, a 41-year-old cannabis shop owner who plans to vote yes on both. "It’s coming hardcore back to the center."

But Democrat Mayor London Breed, who also supports both measures, disagrees. "People keep trying to make this about being liberal or conservative," she said, "but it’s really about being compassionate, with some tough love in the process."

"They said San Francisco makes it too easy for people to access and to use drugs on the streets of the city," she added, "and we need to do something a lot more aggressive."

Breed faces a tough re-election campaign this year. As the first black female mayor of San Francisco, she entered office in 2018 to much fanfare but quickly lost favor with her constituents because of rising drug and crime problems.

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News. She has a Ph.D. in Shakespearean drama, but now enjoys writing about religion, sports, and local criminal investigations. She loves God, her husband, and all things Michigan State.
@cortneyweil →