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San Francisco Legalizing Prostitution?

Decriminalization vs. Legalization.

Update: Proposition K was defeated by the vast majority of votes.  This will help law enforcement continue to confront human trafficking in the Bay Area.

I heard mention today that San Francisco was considering legalizing prostitution.  I have long thought this should be done, especially in Las Vegas.  But it ends up that’s not exactly the case.  As a matter of fact, after looking at their plan, it seems like a really bad idea.  

It turns out that San Francisco is not talking about legalizing prostitution, they actually can’t because of state laws.  But they are looking at decriminalizing it.  What’s the difference?  Well, they are not saying it’s legal, they are just telling the police to let it slide.

Why do this?  It seems that some genius has done the math and figured out that this will free up $11 million in resources for the police department to chase down “real criminals” and follow up on more serious issues.

But taking the step to decriminalize prostitution instead of legalizing it causes a few issues that the citizens of San Francisco, and the rest of the world, need to be concerned about.  

First, if you legalize prostitution, not only do pull cops off wasting their time on this, but you also can tax the profession.  This could lead to a significant amount of revenue that could be funneled to the city, and even directly to the police department.  By just decriminalizing prostitution, the city doesn’t really profit from the business.

Second, legalizing prostitution means being able to regulate prostitution.   Rhode Island for example permits prostitution behind closed doors, between two consenting adults.  But it maintains laws against street walking prostitutes.  I think most can agree that we don’t care if some guy goes online to meet a girl on Craigslist for sex, even if he is paying for it.  But we don’t want half-naked women walking up and down the streets in front of our kids.  And we sure don’t want our teenage daughters getting hit up by weird guys in cars.

The regulation of prostitutes also means mandatory testing like they do in Nevada.  Requiring the prostitutes to undergo monthly STD examinations, helps lower the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.  

Sex Slave Trafficking in San Francisco

There is the other big issue in San Francisco, and that has to do with the amount of sex slaves within the city, primarily in the massage parlors.  Young girls are sold into slavery and forced to have sex with countless men, all within one of the biggest cities in the country.  The last I heard, the mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsome, had made a pretty big commitment to drive this evil out of the city.  

This measure, known as Proposition K, will pretty much kill those efforts.  It will also force the local police to turn down federal funds to help fight against sex trafficking in the city of San Francisco.  That is unacceptable.  

This measure is supported by the San Francisco Democratic Party, which just shows the group ignorance of some local democratic party officials.  

I get the idea of the measure; it’s to protect prostitutes from being victimized and not being able to go to police.  And it’s to save tax payers money on not busting hookers.  But the fact is people do not want hookers walking the streets in their neighborhood. 

I’m all for legalizing prostitution, but keep it off the streets,  regulate it, and tax it.  Legalizing prostitution is a great idea, but we cannot just ignore the people being enslaved within our country.  This is America.  It would be good for San Francisco Democrats to remember that.  

People of San Francisco, Gavin Newsome is a good man, and hardly a prude.  I hope that you support him in kicking this ridiculous measure to the curb, where there should not be a hooker.

About Ed Shull (364 Articles)
I'm the editor of Filthy Lucre, and the CEO of USWeb. I write about things I find interesting in the financial and business space, and often gadgets. I'm an unapologetic Apple fanboy I spend most of my waking day near an iMac, iPhone or iPad. I split my time between my beach condo in Baja, and my home in Las Vegas.
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4 Comments on San Francisco Legalizing Prostitution?

  1. This article is not accurate for many reasons.

    Let’s start with a few:

    1. You don’t have the definition of “decriminalization” versus “legalization” correct. Legalization, like in Nevada, or Victoria, Australia, means that prostitution is only legal in brothels. Decriminalization, like in New Zealand or in New South Wales, Australia, means that people can also work independently. Legalization is like saying you can only work for a big company, but you cannot work for yourself.

    2. Prop K will not kill efforts to stop human trafficking in San Francisco. In the past two years, there has not been a single conviction for trafficking in SF. There is nothing to kill. Prop K will allow sex workers and clients to go to the authorities if they see evidence of trafficking. The National Lawyers Guild has also endorsed Prop K, saying it will result in more prosecutions for trafficking.

    3. Taxation, permits, zoning regulations, and labor regulations are not something anyone can escape. Often the Mafia is not brought down for their actual crimes like murder, etc, but for tax evasion. Prop K brings prostitution above ground, and it means that anyone operating a prostitution has to follow all the regulations that apply to other businesses.

    4. Mandatory testing does not result in lower rates of STD’s. Mandatory testing gives the illusion that you are disease free, and the result is that it encourages unsafe sex practices. Regardless of what the tests say, people should ALWAYS have protected sex. Public Health officials recommend decriminalization, not legalization, and they recommend getting test every 3 to 6 months. Dr. Klausner, head of the STD unit of the Department of Public Health has endorsed prop k.

    5. For more information, visit http://www.yesonpropk.org

  2. @Slava Thank you for the insightful comment. But I still disagree that Prop K is a good idea.

    1. The decriminalization of prostitution will mean an increase in streetwalkers. This will become a flagrant act done in front of homes and private business. I’m not saying that prostitution should only be allowed in brothels, I like the way Rhode Island handles the issue. Despite what you might think, most people don’t like seeing prostitutes hanging around their house. What happens in a brothel, or what is worked out via phone and email, then transacted in a private room is fine, but not in front of homes and businesses.

    2. You arguement is unfair and a little distasteful. I know that you know that sex trafficking is an incredibly difficult crime to succesfully prosecute. The only way to stop it is to be aggressive in raids of suspected traffickers, keep fining them until they close, and get the girls out of the sittuation. The National Lawyers Guild is not taking real world facts into account, only the idea that a girl can come in to the police and claim she is being trafficked without the worry of prosectution. That is not going to happen.

    3. It is just silly to say that the federal government is going to launch complexed tax evasion sting operations to catch hookers. Prostitutes, should be like any other licensed contractor and pay taxes for their business. Decriminalization of prostittuion is also essentially decrminalization of tax evasion for this group.

    4. Your statement is untrue. Clearly if sex workers are tested for STD’s on a regular basis, this will help lower the possibility of spreading the problem. This has worked very well in the pornography industry, as well as in the Nevada brothels. You’re more likely to catch an STD from someone in a bar, than a licensed prostitute in Nevada.

    I do have a question for you, and I would really like an honest, non-political answer. If the option was available, would you not prefer legalization?

  3. @Slava I think admin has some good points. Just telling the police to ignore the issue is not going to solve anything. As a SF resident, I’m voting this down.

  4. I think Prop K is a terrible idea. By decriminalizing prostitution, we will be putting more women at risk in SF. Prop K is just flawed logic, which is why even the most liberal leaders are voting against it. I’m voting no on K.

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