EDITOR’S NOTE: Article has been updated to provide additional context and updated responses from the White House.
WASHINGTON (WTVO) — The Biden administration said Wednesday that crack pipes are not included in a “safe smoking kit” made available to nonprofits to reduce infections among drug users.
According to Free Washington Beacona spokesperson for the US Department of Health and Human Services said it will provide smoking kits for users to smoke illicit substances such as crystal meth and crack cocaine.
To limit infections among drug addicts, the Biden administration created a $30 million grant program through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for nonprofits to purchase equipment and supplies to strengthen risk reduction efforts”. examples including list infectious disease test kits, condoms, syringes and “safe smoking kits/supplies”.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) expressed ‘serious concerns’ about the program in a letter SAMHSA Secretary Xavier Becerra on Tuesday saying, “Government-funded drug paraphernalia is a slap in the face to communities and first responders fighting drugs that enter our country from a border wide open south. If this is the president’s plan to fight drug addiction, our country is in serious trouble.
In response, Becerra and White House drug policy adviser Rahul Gupta said in a statement, “No federal funding will be used directly or through subsequent reimbursement to recipients to implement pipes in safe smoking kits”.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the impression the government was funding the distribution of crack pipes was due to “inaccurate reporting”.
The program is part of a harm reduction initiative aimed at preventing the spread of infectious diseases in underserved communities affected by substance use disorders, as reported in Biden’s Executive Decreepublished on January 20, 2021, which stated, “The federal government should pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized and affected by poverty and persistent inequalities.
The deadline for organizations to apply for the grant was Monday, February 7.
An HHS spokesperson later said FoxNews “The Harm Reduction Grant offered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and authorized by the American Rescue Plan is a grant program designed to help Americans who struggle with substance abuse stay healthy and healthy. safety, prevent overdose deaths and find pathways to evidence-based treatments.
The sale or distribution of drug paraphernalia is against federal law unless authorized by the government. Funding for the program comes from the US bailout of the Democrats.