Biden Funding Crack Pipes in the Name of…. Equity?

In a move to pursue racial equality, the Biden administration looks to fund the distribution of drug paraphernalia to addicts across the nation. The Washington Free Beacon reported this week that a $30 million grant program closed applications on Monday and is set to begin in May through release of funds to nonprofits and local governments. Funds are to be used for the distribution of free smoking kits and supplies to drug users in communities across the nation.

The program, which falls under the Department of Health and Human Services, purposes to “support community-based overdose prevention programs, syringe services programs, and other harm reduction services.” The Harm Reduction Program grant purposes to serve “priority populations,” particularly those “underserved communities that are greatly impacted by SUD” (substance use disorders). Purportedly, the distribution of such items as overdose reversal medications and sterile equipment with which to smoke crack cocaine, methamphetamines, and other illicit substances.

Some conservative lawmakers rightly expressed indignation this week at the controversial program. In her letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn wrote, “Government-funded drug paraphernalia is a slap in the face to the communities and first responders fighting against drugs flowing into our country from a wide-open southern border.” Texas Representative Dan Crenshaw tweeted also that, “In the woke dystopia, facilitating self-destruction is the same as racial justice.”

Programs like the one pitched by the Biden administration have been tried in community settings before. The Anne Arundel Health Department in Annapolis, Maryland faced backlash from black residents after distributing clean crack pipes last year, announcing it would stop distribution immediately. In its coverage of the news story, Capital Gazette noted concerns expressed by a civil rights activist and recovered addict. Carl Snowden noted the negative impact of providing drug equipment to recovered or recovering drug addicts.

Sergeant Clyde Boatright, president of the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police, recommends instead that government resources be utilized for prevention, rather than enabling. A taxpayer funded program that provides crack pipes as a fix for “racial inequality” demonstrates a failure to understand and treat factors contributing to drug addiction. In the end, Biden’s program will only serve to hurt the very people he claims to be helping.

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Aly is a military spouse and mom to two. She has a special interest in international security and foreign affairs, having lived overseas, worked with Sister Cities International and served as a commissioning editor for an international relations website. Aly holds a Masters in Global Studies and International Relations from Northeastern University and currently resides in Tennessee.
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