The “live-and-let-live” city of San Francisco already has medical marijuana clubs "next to grocery stores and an annual fair celebrates sadomasochism,” said Associated Press writer Evelyn Nieves in The Mercury News. If Proposition K passes next month, it will become the first major U.S. city with prostitutes walking the streets “without fear of arrest.” Proponents say that would save police $11 million a year they would otherwise spend rounding up streetwalkers.
“The argument that the legalization or decriminalization of prostitution” would provide an “economic boost” isn’t necessarily true, said Jeff Poor in News Busters. “Prostitution is legal, regulated and taxed in 11 counties” in Nevada, but that state is “suffering very tough economic times—unemployment is at a 23-year high,” and they’ve “had to cut spending by $1.2 billion.”
The benefit of decriminalization to sex workers “goes beyond dollars and cents,” said Elizabeth Pfeffer and Angela Hart in the San Mateo County Times. They routinely face "dangerous, sometimes violent situations,” and legalizing prostitution would let them seek help without landing in jail. Then again, decriminalizing prostitution could “draw pimps and traffickers to San Francisco like moths to a flame.” It’s a tough call.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to adopt the perfect rescue dog
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- The lessons of Japan's latest recession
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
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