Senators Scott and Rubio introduce CRACK Act to keep federal government from funding crack pipes

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to reports, several Republican senators have introduced a bill that would prevent federal funding for a grant from “purchasing, supplying, or distributing crack pipes or similar drug paraphernalia.”

That bill is known as the CRACK Act of 2022.  The acronym stands for “Cutting Rampant Access to Crack Kits,” and it was introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Tim Scott (R-South Carolina).

Cosponsors include Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.),  Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Kennedy (R-La.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

The bill came about in response to a program that the Department of Health and Human Services recently announced: a grant program called the FY 2022 Harm Reduction Program Grant.  

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the program has a price tag of $30 million and will begin in May.

This Harm Reduction Program came under scrutiny across the country for its apparent intent to distribute crack pipes to addicts in the name of “equity.”

The Washington Free Beacon reported on February 7, 2022:

“Included in the grant, which is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, are funds for ‘smoking kits/supplies.’

“A spokesman for the agency told the Washington Free Beacon that these kits will provide pipes for users to smoke crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and ‘any illicit substance.’”

The publication continued:

“HHS said the kits aim to reduce the risk of infection when smoking substances with glass pipes, which can lead to infections through cuts and sores. 

“Applicants for the grants are prioritized if they treat a majority of ‘underserved communities,’ including African Americans and ‘LGBTQ+ persons,’ as established under President Joe Biden’s executive order on ‘advancing racial equity.’”

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Although the Beacon reported that the HHS confirmed that crack pipes would be included, other outlets have pointed out that the grant does not specifically name crack pipes in its wording.

The grant, however, does call for nonprofits to “[p]urchase equipment and supplies to enhance harm reduction efforts.”

Examples of such “equipment and supplies” include “safe smoking kits/supplies.”

In a press briefing held on Wednesday, February 9, White House press secretary Jen Psaki pushed back against reports that crack pipes were to be distributed using federal funds, saying that crack pipes “were never a part of the [safe smoking] kit; it was inaccurate reporting.”

She added:

“A safe smoking kit may contain alcohol swabs, lip balm, other materials to promote hygiene and reduce the transmission of disea- — diseases like HIV and hepatitis….

“[W]e don’t support federal funding, indirect or direct, for pipes.”

Re-Fund the Police

Nevertheless, the above-named Republican senators have introduced the CRACK Act, evidently to assure that the vaguely-worded “safe smoking kits” will definitely not include crack pipes.

The bill states that Section 2706(b) of the American Rescue Plan Act of 4 2021 is to be amended to read:

“Amounts made available under this section may not be used to procure, supply, or distribute pipes, cylindrical objects, or other paraphernalia that can be used to smoke, inhale, or ingest narcotics.”

In a press release, Senator Tim Scott said of the CRACK Act:

“The thought of taxpayer money funding crack pipe distributions could not be more ludicrous.”

He continued:

“But after a year of ludicrous policies and conflicting statements from the Biden administration, Republicans are leaving nothing up to chance. 

“I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bill to ensure our federal government does not fuel dangerous drug addictions at the expense of American taxpayers.”

Cosponsor Senator Marco Rubio added:

“I am glad the Biden Administration acknowledges sending crack pipes to our nation’s addicts is a bad idea.”

Rubio went on to say:

“It is pure insanity to think the federal government would fund crack pipe distribution. 

“This legislation will make certain the program can never pay for crack pipes, and given the Biden Administration’s position I look forward to their vigorous support.” 

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Moms protest ‘open drug use’ in police-defunded San Fran, say safe space isn’t safe for anyone

Originally published February 11, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Progressive and liberal leaders in the city thought opening up a safe haven for addicts would somehow curb violence and decrease drug abuse.

According to a group of mothers who are protesting the center, the experiment is nothing more than an utter failure.

The Linkage Center at the UN Plaza in the Tenderloin area was opened with the intention of providing resources to addicts who might not otherwise seek assistance.

Instead of doing that, a group of mothers in the area is claiming that the center is doing nothing more than increasing the drug use and dealing in the area.

One of the protesting mothers, Michelle Leopold, spoke to ABC7 News about why she and others have started protesting the center. She said:

“There is drug dealing going on in what is supposed to be a safe place, and there’s open drug use in the Linkage Center. And that is what we’re protesting.”

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Leopold, whose 18-year-old son Trevor died from an opioid overdose in 2019, joined a group called “Moms Against Drug Deaths” with other mothers who have had personal experiences with the drug epidemic in one way or another.

The group decided to step up and protest the center allegedly after they saw photographs of open drug use inside the center.

She said:

“A safe injection site cannot be inside a Linkage Center. They need to be two different topics. This is supposed to be a safe place to get help…but it makes it really hard to look for recovery when you have to pass your drug dealer on the way to that table, or if you have to pass people openly using drugs if you, yourself are looking for recovery.”

The San Francisco Department of Public Health issued a statement on the concerns of “Moms Against Drug Deaths.” They wrote:

“We are committed to creating a safe and welcoming space for both people who use drugs and people who do not use drugs. Because we serve many people who use drugs, the site design, staffing, and set-up allow guests to be observed for safety at all times while respecting guest privacy.

“For example, staff routinely and respectfully check on people using private spaces, such as bathroom facilities. Staff undergo overdose prevention training, which includes identifying and reversing drug overdoses.”

Although the Department of Health makes it sound like they have everything under control and may have saved lives of those that are overdosing, protesters believe that allowing such a venue does nothing but encourage further drug abuse.

Cory, one of the other mothers who did not want her last name publicized, said:

“The enabling doesn’t help anybody…You have to quit enabling them. Giving them everything they need. Why would I ever leave? The enabling doesn’t help anybody.”

Cory speaks from a place of personal experience as her son is addicted to fentanyl and is homeless living in the area. Cory had been providing him food and other personal items so that he could live comfortably on the streets, however, has recently decided she will not be doing so anymore.

Cory stopped helping him out with the items that he needs to survive because she believes doing so may motivate him to clean up his act. Whether that approach works or not remains to be seen.

The Linkage Center was opened in December of 2021 after Democratic San Francisco Mayor London Breed noted the drug and crime issue had gotten so bad in the area that she declared a state of emergency.

The mayors and other city leaders had hoped the center would be able to provide a safe place where homeless or addicts could be provided with short and long-term resources that would put them on the path to recovery.

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