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Sup. Dorsey Proposes ‘Right to Recovery’ Zones With Targeted Drug Enforcement
Thursday, June 30, 2022

Sup. Dorsey Proposes ‘Right to Recovery’ Zones With Targeted Drug Enforcement

In response to growing demands for drug treatment, District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey plans to draft legislation that would establish priority zones for enforcement of laws against open-air drug dealing and consumption. 

The idea, which Dorsey discussed in a recent interview with The Standard, is to create “right to recovery” blocks where people can seek treatment for addiction without having to encounter drug use and dealing.

The proposed legislation would direct police officers to immediately confiscate illegal drugs being used publicly and to arrest anyone selling controlled substances in designated areas close to treatment facilities. 

Those facilities would include ​​“private or public residential and outpatient treatment facilities, sober living environments (or SLEs), and harm-reduction models such as supervised consumption facilities,” according to the proposal. 

“The ‘Right to Recovery’ initiative will ensure that people who are striving to live a drug-free life will have a safe space to recover and a ‘non-triggering’ environment to rebuild their life,” said Chief Cristel Tullock of the San Francisco Adult Probation Department in a statement. 

Dorsey, who was appointed last month to the District 6 seat vacated by Matt Haney, asked City Attorney David Chiu to help draft legislation for consideration at the Board of Supervisors. Details to be determined include the size of the right to recovery zones, and how they would be noticed to the public. 

In an interview, Dorsey said he hopes that the legislation would help allay skepticism of safe consumption sites or other treatment facilities in neighborhoods. 

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“I think right now, one of the biggest obstacles is how do we convince neighbors to welcome this into their neighborhood,” said Dorsey. “If we’re not making sure that people aren’t doing drugs outside of the facility or selling drugs outside of the facility, we’re going to lose the support of the neighborhood.”

In response to surging overdose deaths, the city plans to open supervised consumption sites in addition to other investments in drug treatment. 

But members of the public aren’t entirely sold on those sites, according to The Standard’s voter poll conducted in May: Thirty-two percent of those surveyed supported opening supervised drug consumption sites, while 66% supported compulsory treatment for drug users who pose a risk to themselves or others.

Annie Gaus can be reached at [email protected].
  • Dorsey please be bold. Shut down the drug den and get the feds to arrest all those involved in setting up the drug den. You know who they are. Justice needs to be served.

  • If you put the recovery systems in buildings instead of on the streets you may have better luck with neighbors accepting them. You also need to review the formerly homeless housing projects that are supposed to come with wraparound services, but, we hear from residents the services are not as promised.

  • Mass low-level arrests, revolving-door imprisonment and court-ordered locked treatment facilities all worked so well after the US started the War on Drugs in the 20th century! So by all means let’s go back to it!

  • “Low level” is the term you used when your home isn’t being invaded by criminals and your women aren’t getting pushed on to train tracks or run over by career criminals. Always easy for white people to say there is no crime and lets set them all free to feel good for the day.

  • The proposed “Right to Recovery” initiative should be passed as a matter of common sense. Remove the drugs from the users ( issue them citations for drug use in public ) and arrest their suppliers? Double win, though there will be some people who oppose it (advocates for drug dealers?) .
    Hopefully the drug dealers will be charged, tried and sentenced to time in jail and or deported (if they are foreign nationals) .

  • Actually crime collapsed the past 20 years until we decided to stop mass incarceration. Some people are incapable of living free. Home they are warehoused away from society and rehabilitation occurs is what needs to be reformed, not stopping arrests and prosecutions of crime. That is lawlessness

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