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Needling San Francisco

The city discovers that facilitating drug use brings with it unintended consequences. With a Tony Bennett bonus!

Who could have predicted this?

San Francisco, in an effort to reduce HIV, hepatitis and other infectious diseases among its rather large population of homeless drug users, has been passing out free syringes for anybody who wants to use them to shoot up. I’m not sure if this has actually helped to slow the spread of these diseases, but it has created a whole other problem.

The Associated Press reports:

San Francisco hands out millions of syringes a year to drug users but has little control over how they are discarded and that's contributing to thousands of complaints.

The city distributes an estimated 400,000 syringes each month through various programs aimed at reducing HIV and other health risks for drug users. About 246,000 syringes are discarded through the city's 13 syringe access and disposal sites. But thousands of the others end up on streets, in parks and other public areas.

Syringes discarded in public places have become a nationwide problem amid growing heroin use. But in compact San Francisco (about 50 square miles, or 12,950 square hectares), where there is a growing homeless population, the problem is a lot more visible.

It should be noted that in San Fran, the homeless can literally get away with making poo-poo on the sidewalk—so them discarding needles in a not-so-sanitary matter shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Relax, though, because the mayor is on it like flies on—well, you know:

To address the problem, San Francisco Mayor Farrell has hired 10 workers whose sole job will be to pick up needles starting in June.

I think it’s safe to say that whatever Farrell is paying them, it’s not enough.

In honor of this bold initiative, however, I thought a little song might be in order—but since Tony Bennett wasn’t available, you’ll have to settle for me. Close your eyes, then imagine the smoky vocal stylings of Spinal Tap crossed with William Shatner performing “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and you’ll get the idea.

To the melody of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Hit it!

From the banlieues of Paris
The gendarmerie stay away
And from the church in Rome
Pope Francis sounds like Che
Groundhogs get murdered by the mayor in Manhattan
And it stinks like a gas station toilet in my city by the bay

I got my needles in San Francisco
High on smack, it’s all for free
To be where piles of human poop
Stain my shoes with smelly goop
And Democrats don’t seem to care

Homeless camps are there (yes they’re there) in San Francisco
But Pelosi doesn’t care to see
That’s why folks are leaving San Francisco
For someplace that doesn’t reek of pee

I step on needles in San Francisco
Right past the junkies on the streets
To try and get to work
Where panhandlers lurk
And the city council says I’m not paying my fair share

I’m outta there

I packed my bags and left San Francisco
This ain’t the life for me
And as I leave you, San Francisco
You’ll probably slap me with a fee

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