DPA Statement on Mayor London Breed’s Proposal To Institute Drug Testing on San Francisco Welfare Recipients

Statement Jeannette Zanipatin September 27, 2023
Media Contact

Laini Madhubuti [email protected]

San Francisco, CA – On Tuesday, September 26, San Francisco Mayor London Breed proposed that welfare recipients in the city undergo drug testing and forced drug treatment in order to be eligible to receive funds. In response, Jeannette Zanipatin, California State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance released the following statement:

“We understand the Mayor, like all residents, is frustrated by the unhoused crisis. But unlike residents, she’s supposed to work through the frustration to arrive at actionable, effective solutions. Instead she is reverting to failed drug war tactics that are rooted in the punishment of people, not solutions that address the unhoused crisis or addiction. Not only can forcing welfare recipients to undergo drug-testing strip people and families of critical resources needed to overcome homelessness and addiction, it can also harm San Franciscans who are currently housed and receiving assistance. Breed’s latest plan and escalating punitive approaches will likely have the effect of adding to our unhoused population instead of fixing it.

“We must continue working toward solutions that work, such as proven programs that incentivise people to seek, and remain, in treatment, instead of grasping for regressive, punitive approaches that will make the problem worse.”




About Drug Policy Alliance

The Drug Policy Alliance is the leading organization in the U.S. working to end the drug war, repair its harms, and build a non-punitive, equitable, and regulated drug market. We envision a world that embraces the full humanity of people, regardless of their relationship to drugs. We advocate that the regulation of drugs be grounded in evidence, health, equity, and human rights. In collaboration with other movements and at every policy level, we change laws, advance justice, and save lives. Learn more at drugpolicy.org.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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