The $1.7 trillion government funding bill expected to pass this week includes language that bans the use of federal funds to buy crack or meth pipes.
“Notwithstanding any provision of this title and the amendments made by this title, no funds made available to carry out this title or any amendment made by this title shall be used to purchase, procure, or distribute pipes or cylindrical objects intended to be used to smoke or inhale illegal scheduled substances,” the bill states.
That language is part of a section of the sprawling bill dealing with substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery.
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The government funding bill was advanced in a 70-25 vote in the Senate Tuesday with no opposition from Democrats.
Language on drug paraphernalia comes after the White House in February claimed that its $30 million harm reduction grant program through the Department of Health and Human Services would not include crack or meth pipes in its listed “smoking kits.” Reports that these kits did include pipes, the White House claimed, were “misinformation.”
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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted Tuesday that Democrats’ support for the ban on crack pipe funds undercuts the Biden administration’s denial.
“Remember when Democrats & media denied the federal government was sending crack pipes to addicts & called my efforts to prohibit it a ‘stunt?” he wrote. “Well Guess what…the exact same provision they once fought so hard to block is now included in the end of year government funding bill.”
But later press reports did find “smoking kits” commonly included pipes, and organizations receiving harm reduction grants from HHS in Maine and New York distributed pipes in their smoking kits.
HHS told Fox News Digital it met with each individual grant recipient in the program to ensure federal funds do not go toward pipes.
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Even if this policy becomes law, the Department of Justice is reportedly considering how to legalize injection sites, which allow people to use drugs with supervision.
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Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, a Democrat, faced backlash this month from voters and even a Democratic city councilman for her city’s crack pipe distribution.
“The people who are struggling, they need treatment and recovery, and they need mental health services,” said Democrat City Councilor Michael Flaherty. “We should not be enabling those poor souls who are down there.”