San Francisco Druggies Unionize

Drug-Users Union aims to give marginalized a political voice
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2010 11:34 AM CDT
Heroin.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – San Francisco is a union town, so why not a union for…drug users? The San Francisco Drug-Users Union has been formed with $35,000 from the Drug Policy Alliance to give the addled a say in local government, a move that has also been taken in other big cities like Vancouver and New York. This is “a set of folks who don’t have a say in policies that have a direct impact on them,” a DPA official tells SF Weekly.

The union would essentially serve “the same purpose as the Coalition on Homelessness does,” she says, as “often, what’s really going on is, they’re poor.” Drug-users are stigmatized, demonized, and more often than not just ignored, she adds. “The intent is to organize drug-users and help them have a voice and a say in local politics.” Will the union push for medical—not criminal—treatment, and some sort of amnesty? “Probably all of the above.”

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