‘Downtown Is For Drug Users:’ Pro-Drug Use Campaign Appears In San Francisco Amid Record Overdose Deaths

"It’s very literally not hurting you."
People and their belongings are seen on Jones Street in San Francisco, on November 13, 2023. San Francisco has struggled to clean up the city ahead of hosting world and business leaders. (Photo by Jason Henry / AFP) (Photo by JASON HENRY/AFP via Getty Images)
JASON HENRY/AFP via Getty Images

Flyers promoting drug use and criticizing cops popped up in San Francisco’s downtown area this week, posted by a group claiming to represent drug users.

A six-person group called the Drug User Liberation Collective posted the signs in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood, which is notorious for being rife with open-air drug use.

“Downtown is for drug users,” reads one of the signs. “Yea we buy drugs and do drugs here. A lot of us don’t have housing, so we don’t have a choice in the matter.”

“It’s very literally not hurting you, your business, or the economy,” the sign continues. “But it could seem like it because of all the stigma and misinformation out there.”

The poster also slammed Mayor London Breed by name, accusing the mayor of “targeting our communities in order to build political power.”

Breed has spearheaded a crackdown on public drug use and drug dealing that has resulted in more arrests.

“Anti-drug user culture and laws = white supremacy,” another sign reads, noting that black people die from overdoses at several times the rate of white people in San Francisco.

The campaign was created by Nova Schultz, who is referred to as “they” in an interview with the San Francisco Standard and previously used a different name. Schultz is a self-described “drug user in recovery” and a clinician for a downtown mental health organization.

“Our lives are inherently criminalized. It’s illegal to be us,” Schultz told the outlet. “People who use drugs are not morally corrupt.”

Schultz also argued that criminal activity associated with drug use is due to drugs being illegal.

The Drug User Liberation Collective wants drug laws to stop being enforced. The group also wants supervised drug-use facilities and a regulated “safe supply” of drugs, Schultz said.


San Francisco is suffering from a deadly drug crisis and saw record fatal overdoses last year.

A total of 752 people died from drug overdoses in San Francisco between January and November, more deaths than in any other year, preliminary data from the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office shows.

The overdose crisis is driven by fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid that is about 50 times more potent than heroin, is inexpensive to make, and easily transported. Fentanyl has been increasingly smuggled over the southern border into the U.S. by Mexican cartels.

San Francisco has has poured millions of dollars into addressing addiction and overdoses, including a “safe consumption” site in the Tenderloin neighborhood that ran for about 11 months in 2022. The site was closed amid concerns over how much it was costing taxpayers, complaints from nearby residents about the neighborhood deteriorating, and its failure to connect many addicts with drug treatment programs.

Homelessness has only gotten worse in the city since before the pandemic. About 38,000 people are homeless in the Bay Area on a given night, up 35% since 2019.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Downtown Is For Drug Users:’ Pro-Drug Use Campaign Appears In San Francisco Amid Record Overdose Deaths