Washington, DC – President Joe Biden’s administration is about to start doling out $30 million in free crack pipes and other smoking apparatus to addicts to make drug use safer and advance “racial equity.”
The $30 million Harm Reduction Program Grant stopped accepting applications on Monday and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will begin handing out money to recipients in May, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The program description explained every recipient had to use the money to implement a specific list of “harm reduction activities” and provided a list that included “safe smoking kits/supplies.”
An HHS spokesman told the Washington Free Beacon that the smoking supply kits referred to in the program guide would include pipes for users to smoke crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and “any illicit substance.”
HHS said that their goal was to reduce the risk of infection when drug users smoked their drugs out of glass pipes.
Glass pipes put addicts in danger of getting cuts and sores, according to the HHS spokesman.
Grant applicants get priority treatment if their program provides crack pipes and a host of other listed items to mostly “underserved communities,” including African Americans and “LGBTQ+ persons,” as defined by President Biden’s executive order on “advancing racial equity,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Funding for the grants comes from the American Rescue Plan that was crafted by Democrats and only passed with Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.
HHS declined to specify what exactly would go into the approved kits but similar efforts in a few Democratic-led West Coast cities like Seattle and San Francisco have included mouthpieces to prevent glass cuts, rubber bands to prevent finger burns, and filters to minimize the risk of disease, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
It is a violation of federal law to give out or sell drug paraphernalia without permission from the federal government.
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said it was now evaluating whether to allow “safe injection sites” for illegal drugs to open nationwide, the Associated Press reported.
The sites would be monitored by health professionals paid to make sure drug users were safe while they shoot up their veins with heroin and other narcotics.
DOJ said it was “evaluating” safe injection facilities and talking with regulators about “appropriate guardrails.”
“Although we cannot comment on pending litigation, the Department is evaluating supervised consumption sites, including discussions with state and local regulators about appropriate guardrails for such sites, as part of an overall approach to harm reduction and public safety,” HHS told the Associated Press in a statement on Feb. 4.
It’s important to note that under former President Donald Trump’s administration, DOJ prosecutors aggressive fought putting safe usage sites in Philadelphia.
A federal appeals court ruled that opening safe injection sites violated a 1980s-era drug law originally written for “crack houses” that banned operating any facility for the taking of illegal drugs, the Associated Press reported.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up the case in October of 2021.
However, safe injection sites called “overdose prevention centers” opened in New York City around the same time.
New York City is in a different appeals court’s jurisdiction, and it has not ruled on the matter, according to the Associated Press.
Critics of such programs argue that providing safe injection sites just encouraged drug use and provided a safe landing with Narcan should addicts repeatedly overdose.
The HHS Harm Reduction Program also requires recipients to purchase and provide overdose reversal medications, safe sex kits, needles, sharps disposal kits, infection disease testing, fentanyl test strips, and a host of other very specific items.
Ironically, the program guide from HHS also “strongly encourages all recipients to adopt a tobacco/nicotine inhalation (vaping) product-free facility/grounds policy and to promote abstinence from all tobacco products (except in regard to accepted tribal traditions and practices).”