To address this elephant in the room – drug dealing is not OK.  Public drug use is not OK.  Urinating and defecating in public downtown is not OK. [Opinion]

While I applaud the efforts of Judy Anniballi and other downtown businesses to meet to discuss the homeless/drug addiction problem affecting businesses, there is one notable omission in any of these discussions outlined in local media: Who are the drug dealers who are allowed to continue to supply the drugs to this group?

Are there any plans from the city to go to the actual source of the problem?

While Anniballi acknowledges the ‘bigger issue of a very heavy drug-addicted crowd….’ Nowhere does she actually point to the source of who supplies these people with the drugs.  Do our city officials condone drug sales by the drug dealers?  To my knowledge, drug dealing is illegal and addressing the source of drug sales should be a No. 1 priority of this business group, Main Street Association, Chamber of Commerce and all city officials.

Let’s admit it – non-housed individuals will continue to be a problem which needs to be addressed.

Drug dealers and addiction must be made part of any solutions and having a plan to eradicate the illegal drug selling must be enforced or the city needs to come clean and let the public know that the supply side of drug sales are OK.

After over ten years of discussing this issue ad nauseum, it appears to me the time is NOW to address this elephant in the room – drug dealing is not O.K.  Public drug use is not O.K.  Urinating and defecating in public downtown is not OK.

Drugs don’t just appear out of thin air.  Is anyone in the city willing to really address this issue?

One final question:  Why are there no homeless encampments or public drug use in any of the retail districts in Old Town La Quinta; El Paseo in Palm Desert, or major retail areas in Rancho Mirage or Indian Wells?  Do these cities advocate for porta potties along the streets of their retail areas?  These cities obviously have lessons that our city officials can learn from.

Perhaps our Palm Springs city officials should take a tour of these down valley retail areas and see for themselves how to maintain a clean business district. They should meet with those city officials and find out what they are doing that Palm Springs is not. It won’t hurt to ask.  Why does Palm Springs continue to be the magnet for encampments, public drug use and squalor at the doorsteps of our downtown businesses? This is not an acceptable welcome mat for our internationally known city.

Silence is complicity.  Palm Springs residents are fed up with this situation and they deserve action – not exhaustive rhetoric.  Let’s put these issues squarely front and center for decisive action once and for all.  The residents, voters and business owners in our city deserve more.


Image Sources

  • Drug deal: Shutterstock