The City by the Bay has embraced a new religion: drug normalization.
Drugs are destroying San Francisco’s most densely populated and desirable neighborhoods, as more and more addicts, many of them homeless, fill the streets. Politicians and activists are pushing “harm reduction,” which, in a clinical sense, means a “set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use,” such as overdose or the transmission of disease. But in a contemporary context, it also means “a movement for social justice built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs.”
Harm reduction, originally a controversial public-health measure, has become a religion among advocates, even as fears that the practice would normalize drug use have been borne out.