California law enforcement seized enough fentanyl in San Francisco since the beginning of May to kill the city’s population three times over. The more than four kilos of seized fentanyl could cause the overdose of more than 2 million people, reports The Guardian. The seizures were made by California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers and are a part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to address the spread of fentanyl in the city where 268 people died from accidental overdoses in the first four months of 2023. All of the fentanyl was found in and around San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. One in five deaths of California’s teenagers and young adults are tied to fentanyl.
In late April, Newsom announced that the CHP, the state national guard and the attorney general’s office would aid San Francisco’s law enforcement in dealing with fentanyl. Newsom and some local officials have shot down community-led harm-reduction initiatives. The city’s supervisors have pushed to replace the Tenderloin Center, which was designed as a temporary harm-reduction measure, with 12 smaller “wellness hubs” around the city. Last summer, Newsom vetoed legislation that would have allowed supervised drug-use centers in three California cities, including San Francisco. The plan for the wellness hubs stalled after San Francisco’s city attorney raised the objection that the city could wind up bearing significant legal liability. In addition to the boost in law enforcement, Newsom allocated $172 million for a project distributing naloxone, an overdose medication.