San Francisco Mayor London Breed is proposing that residents of her city who wish to receive government handouts should have to pass a drug test.
In a Tuesday news release, Breed’s office announced legislation that would require those who apply for or receive benefits to “undergo screening for substance use disorder.”
Those individuals who are found to have a “substance abuse dependency” would then be required to participate in a substance abuse treatment program.
“Individuals who refuse or do not successfully engage in treatment would not be eligible to receive [County Adult Assistance Programs] cash assistance,” Breed’s office said in the release.
The release noted that the proposed legislation must be approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
In an accompanying statement, Breed said, “San Francisco is a city of compassion, but also a city that demands accountability.”
“We want to help people get the care they need but under current state law, local government [lacks] tools to compel people into treatment,” the mayor said.
Several city supervisors voiced support for the initiative.
“In our pursuit to address the opioid crisis, let our message be clear: the City isn’t going to give you money to buy drugs,” Supervisor Catherine Stefani said.
According to the release, from 2018 to 2020 about 20 percent of San Francisco’s CAAP recipients reported that they had drug abuse issues.
At a Tuesday news conference, Breed acknowledged that “we need to make a significant change,” according to the New York Post.
“No more ‘anything goes’ without accountability, no more handouts without accountability,” she said.
In a video that went viral on social media last year, a homeless man told author Michael Shellenberger that he had relocated to the city and lived comfortably on more than $800 a month in public assistance.
The man, identified only as James, said he hauled in enough cash from the government each month to afford drugs, a phone and a Netflix subscription.
“They pay you to be homeless here,” he said.
WARNING: The following video contains language that might offend some viewers.
People say lack of housing forces local residents into the streets, but James says he came from Texas to San Francisco for the drugs, the non-enforcement of anti-camping laws, and the $820/month in welfare & food stamps. James says he sold fentanyl, 2 weeks ago, to a 15-year-old. pic.twitter.com/5qMr6tmlWs
— Michael Shellenberger (@shellenberger) February 9, 2022
James said all it took was a phone call to get $200 worth of food stamps and $620 in cash per month.
“Why wouldn’t I do it, you know? It’s f***ing free money,” he said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.