09.07.2018 0

San Francisco: When the Lights go out in the City

By Rick Manning

San Francisco, California is rapidly becoming the punchline to a national joke.  The latest?  It is now more difficult to get a straw or coffee stirrer in the City by the Bay, than to get a free needle to inject yourself with dangerous illegal narcotics.

And the evidence is everywhere on the streets of San Francisco, with approximately 400,000 needles distributed monthly, the city is inundated with orange needle caps – not straws – and syringes. The San Francisco Chronicle estimates that as many as 154,000 a month of these used needles end up strewn onto the streets.

While the intention of the decades-old program is to give away needles so people don’t reuse them and expose themselves to blood-born pathogens like the HIV virus, the net effect to the City itself is disastrous.

In the obvious category, the city government is officially sanctioning illegal, opioid drug use – a kind of perverse, “just say yes” campaign. The second is that the needles they hand out in such abundance are now polluting the city itself.

In the wake of this environmental and public safety challenge, San Francisco has stumbled into a non-sequitor solution for their increased plastic littering problem – banning plastic straws.  After all, plastic straws are a far more pernicious problem as they not only find their way into waste dumps, but also deliver evil sugary drinks from a cup to our lips, sometimes in extra-large-sized cups. Straws are the literal covered bridge between our youths and diabetes when they are in their 60s, and San Francisco is going full California in banning them. After all, a cola is a gateway health hazard that leads to copious amounts of Mountain Dew and Red Bull consumption. And the environmentally evil plastic straw must be stopped.

However, there is possibly one hope for plastic straw lovers in the not so Golden any more State, and it could be found in the San Francisco drug user assistance programs. Many of the Silicon Valley-Bay area cokeheads depend upon the straw to deliver their powdery inhalant in a rapid and efficient manner, and because cocaine is generally taken inside and out of the elements, the straws used end up in the trash bin, not on the streets.

But unless the coke lobby steps up its game around San Francisco City Hall, they may need to break the plastic straw ban to consume their drug of choice illegally. You can already hear them murmuring in the throes of an overdose, you’ll take my straw from my cold, dead hands.

Incredibly, as bad as their straw difficulties are, San Francisco’s real problem may be found in the marine life that lives in the Bay. Reports that the City itself has hired a poop patrol to clean up the human waste that the burgeoning homeless, drug using population naturally produces and leaves throughout the city points to an entirely different and much more severe problem than the rogue straw on the streets.

Seattle, Washington, just 809 miles north of San Francisco, has discovered that their opioid addicted population’s naturally created, treated waste has polluted the Puget Sound to such a degree that trace amounts of opioids are being found in the native shellfish population. Given San Francisco’s raw, untreated human sewage problem, it is safe to assume that their local fisheries are at least equally impacted by the spoiled fruits of their deadly combination of providing sanctuary to illegal aliens, aiding and abetting opioid addiction, and turning their streets over to the homeless population that is created.

But pay no mind to the real problems that threaten to engulf what was once one of the most beautiful cities in the world, San Francisco is going to take down the plastic straw lobby once and for all.

I guess this is what can be expected when the counter-culture 1960s-70s occupants of Haight and Ashbury Streets become the mainstream culture – straw pollution becomes a crime while needles to drug addicts are a benefit of living on the street.

As a California expat living in the D.C. area, even I have a hard time explaining it.

The author is president of Americans for Limited Government and was born and raised in southern California.

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