Biden HHS to Fund Crack Pipe Distribution, Part of $30 Million 'Harm Reduction' Grant

By Michael W. Chapman | February 7, 2022 | 12:38pm EST
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Update: On Feb. 9, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced that crack pipes were "never part" of the safe smoking kits being funded by the HHS grants, and that the kits "may contain alcohol swabs, lip balm, other materials to promote hygiene and reduce the transmission of diseases like HIV and hepatitis."

(CNS News) -- The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is planning to distribute $29,500,000 in "harm reduction" grants for drug abusers this spring, money that can be allocated for "safe smoking kits/supplies," meaning crack pipes and related paraphernalia.

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon today,  an HHS spokesman said the safe smoking kits "will provide pipes for users to smoke crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and 'any illicit substance.'"

The nearly $30 million in harm reduction grants is being distributed through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the HHS. 

State, local, tribal, and non-profit groups involved in treating drug abuse may apply for the funds. Applications are due today, Feb. 7, and the awards (up to 25) will be announced on May 15. According to the SAMHSA, estimated awards will be up to $400,000 per year per award over three years. 

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

"The purpose of the program is to support community-based overdose prevention programs, syringe services programs, and other harm reduction services," said SAMHSA in its announcement of the funding opportunity. 

Some of the harm reduction efforts acceptable to SAMHSA include, "Safe sex kits, including PrEP resources and condoms; Safe smoking kits/supplies"; and "Syringes to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases."

Image from 2022 Harm Reduction Program Grant, which states, "Grant funds must be used primarily to support the following required harm reduction activities" listed above.
Image from 2022 Harm Reduction Program Grant, which states, "Grant funds must be used primarily to support the following required harm reduction activities" listed above.

 

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

"The priority populations for this program are underserved communities that are greatly impacted by SUD [Substance Use Disorders]," according to the grant announcement.  "Underserved communities are defined under section 2 of Executive Order 13985. Grant recipients will focus activities on 'meeting people where they’re at....'"

Executive Order 13985 was issued by President Joe Biden on Jan. 21, 2021, and is entitled, Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.

Section 2 of the order reads, "For purposes of this order:  (a)  The term 'equity' means the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality. 

(Screenshot)
(Screenshot)

"(b)  The term 'underserved communities' refers to populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as geographic communities, that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life, as exemplified by the list in the preceding definition of 'equity.'"

President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, has a long and well-documented history of alcohol and crack cocaine addiction.

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