Anyone who walks through the Tenderloin district at any time of day notices the number of people clutching brown bags as they weave their way down the street. Now it appears that at last some of the many liquor dealers in the area are uniting in a voluntary program to reduce practices that have encouraged alcohol abuse. The stores, through an agreement brokered by the mayor’s office, will no longer sell alcohol between 6 and 8 a.m.; they will refrain from selling single containers of alcohol in paper bags; they will no longer cash Supplemental Security checks, nor will they give credit for alcohol purchases. One move that will surprise many is that they will no longer sell individual scouring pads because those can be used to make crack pipe filters (who knew?). All of these measures should help to some extent. Now we need to look at providing more alcohol rehab programs and stronger social services to move people into a more liveable life. We would all benefit.
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