Senator Wiener’s Statement On State-Local Joint Effort To Tackle Fentanyl Crisis in San Francisco

April 21, 2023

SACRAMENTO – Governor Newsom announced a new joint effort among the California National Guard (CalGuard), California Highway Patrol (CHP), San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), and San Francisco District Attorney’s Office (SFDA) to ramp up the city’s effort to address the fentanyl crisis. In response, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), issued the following statement:

“The Tenderloin’s open-air drug markets are unsafe and unacceptable, and they need to be shut down. For far too long, Tenderloin residents — including many seniors, children, and people with disabilities — have had to navigate sidewalk drug markets in their daily lives. They shouldn’t have to do that.

“I welcome any effort to improve coordination among law enforcement agencies, add more investigative capacity, and provide additional training in how to disrupt open air drug markets. We are still waiting for more details on what this new effort will entail. I look forward to hearing those details in the coming days.

“While disrupting open-air drug markets is essential to restore quality of life and safety for residents of the Tenderloin, the tragedy of addiction and overdose deaths is a public health crisis and requires a multipronged set of solutions unrelated to the criminal justice system. That is why I’ve fought for increased treatment and for safe consumption sites, which reduce overdose deaths and open air drug use, among other public health benefits.

“In the wake of the veto of my legislation to authorize San Francisco to pilot safe consumption sites, we are now awaiting long overdue legal guidance from the Biden Administration to allow San Francisco to open its first such site. Taking on the crisis of overdose deaths will require more treatment, safe consumption sites, robust access to Narcan, and drug testing. We need an all-of-the-above approach.”