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Mayors of America’s biggest Democrat-controlled cities are among those jonesing for tax dollars to tackle a drug crisis they helped to create. However, many of these mayors pursued radical policies that only fueled the epidemic.
In a letter from 38 mayors, including those of Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia and San Francisco, members of Congress are implored to approve President Biden’s supplemental budget request.
Their plea is mostly lifted from White House press releases, arguing that $1.5 billion in grant funding to localities through the Department of Health and Human Services’ State Opioid Response allows them to effectively tackle a drug crisis fueled primarily by fentanyl flowing through the president’s porous southern border.
On paper, the funding seems noble. It’s earmarked to expand access to recovery support services. But much of what the Left pushes sounds better than the reality.
EVEN PROGRESSIVES IN SEATTLE AND PORTLAND ARE FED UP WITH MAKING DRUGS LEGAL
As I expose in my new book “What’s Killing America: Inside the Radical Left’s Tragic Destruction of Our Cities,” progressive proposals are often a facade. When you know how to decode their buzzwords, you can better understand and neutralize their destructive policies.
The funding would bolster “harm reduction” strategies, which the Radical Left dresses up as “evidence-based.” It often does little more than enable addicts, distributing drug paraphernalia like fentanyl pipes, clean needles and “booty-bumping” kits, under the guise of reducing harm.
The efficacy of these measures is dubious at best. Take Seattle, where officials suggest offering smoking supplies could open treatment doors – a claim they can’t support. Even more jarring is the admission from the Hepatitis Education Project: the goal isn’t to wean addicts off drugs but to support their autonomy in drug use.
Neither Seattle nor Portland has shown interest in ending addiction. Seattle defunded the police, passing policies and legislation barring police from enforcing drug laws. The city hit record high fatal overdoses along the way.
Meanwhile, voters in Portland, fooled by a clever pitch, legalized drugs under the guise of treatment, only to see overdoses skyrocket. Nonprofits have squandered taxpayer dollars, forcing the Oregon Health Authority to cancel grant funding and demand it be returned.
THE ‘MOST HIPPIE’ TOWN IN WASHINGTON BANS DRUGS AFTER SPIKE IN OVERDOSES
Will these Democrat mayors actually put federal funds to good use? Their continued endorsement of harm reduction initiatives hardly inspires confidence.
Take Philadelphia’s Mayor Jim Kenney. He pushed for “safe consumption sites” in 2018, a misleading term for locations where addicts shoot up under medical supervision. Framed as a life-saving move, they are anything but. Their focus on enabling addicts means little time spent on treatment. Meanwhile, addiction soared, with the city seeing more than 1,400 overdose deaths in 2022 alone.
San Francisco’s response? Let nonprofits distribute drug-smoking kits, with little effort to encourage quitting. The result of handing out pipes, straws, tin foil and other tools to smoke fentanyl? A spiraling homelessness crisis and a ghost town downtown with a record-high 33.9% office vacancy rate.
While the federal government should contribute to cities grappling with drugs flooding the streets from our porous border, there’s a pressing need for accountability and effective use of funds. Blindly pouring money into harm reduction strategies is a bottomless pit that will lead to a vicious cycle of dependency on federal aid without resolving the underlying issues.
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The money will be spent on harm reduction tools, addiction will worsen, the cities will beg for even more money, and the Biden administration will cough it up. It will never end.
Democrat-led cities face a stark choice: cling to their failing harm reduction tactics or pivot to strategies that actually work, even if it clashes with their progressive dogma.
While they’ve tried to correct their police defunding measures, they remain recalcitrant on harm reduction. Given their stubborn track record, taxpayers should think twice before granting them unlimited do-overs.
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The focus should be on directing funds toward treatment centers and other proven methods that thoughtfully utilize the criminal justice system to tackle criminal addicts. Cities that have already done this should be prioritized for funding.
The time for relentless harm reduction strategies is over. It’s time for real change, real accountability and real treatment.
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