The Biden administration will soon fund the distribution of crack pipes to drug addicts in underserved communities for the purpose of "advancing racial equity," the Washington Free Beacon reported.
What are the details?
The baffling measure is included in the Department of Health and Human Services' fiscal year 2022 Harm Reduction Program Grant program. In the document, the crack pipe plan is described as the dispersion of federal government funds for the slightly more anodyne "smoking kits/supplies."
But a spokesman for the department recently told the Washington Free Beacon that the grant money will do exactly what the headline says it will do.
The distributed kits will provide safer pipes for drug addicts to use when they smoke crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, or "any illicit substance." The spokesman reportedly explained that the supplied pipes will reduce users' chances of becoming infected. Glass pipes often used by addicts can sometimes lead to infection through cuts and sores.
The grant program, worth almost $30 million, closed applications on Monday and will begin providing the funds to nonprofit and local government recipients in May.
The Free Beacon reported that applicants for the grant money will be prioritized for selection if they promise to use the funds in "underserved communities," including where there are large African-American and LGBTQ+ populations, as established under President Joe Biden's executive order on "advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities."
With the order, issued in January, Biden set in motion a "comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality."
Other equipment that qualifies for funding in the grant include "harm reduction vending machines," infectious diseases testing kits, safe-sex kits, syringes, vaccination services, and wound care management supplies.
The program has up to $29,250,000 in anticipated available funding and estimates the distribution of 25 awards of up to $400,000 per award over the next three years.
The Free Beacon noted that Democrat-run cities such as San Francisco and Seattle have similarly distributed smoking kits to residents but have backed away from such programs in recent years over concerns that they enable drug users.
Sgt. Clyde Boatwright, president of the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police, told the outlet government resources should be used to prevent illegal drug use rather than aim to make it safer.
"If we look at more of a preventive campaign as opposed to an enabling campaign, I think it will offer an opportunity to have safer communities with fewer people who are dependable on these substances," he argued.