U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio was among the first on the right to castigate the Biden administration’s plan to distribute pipes and syringes in minority communities as a way to prevent drug overdoses.
“[President Joe] Biden is sending free meth & crack pipes to minority communities in the name of ‘racial equity.’ There is no end in sight for this lunacy.” Rubio tweeted on Tuesday. “This is insanity,” he added.
The drug-smoking utensils were part of a $30 million package of “harm reduction” materials intended to stop overdoses and the spread of infectious diseases. Among the other items, as The Free Press posted on Tuesday, were “safe sex” kits including condoms, tests for sexually transmitted infections and substance abuse, and clean syringes.
Rubio, however, has now enlisted 15 Republican senators in a bid to stop this.
He has introduced the ‘‘Cutting Rampant Access to Crack Kits Act of 2022’’ or the ‘‘CRACK Act of 2022.”
Rubio’s two-page bill essentially boils down to one sentence: “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.’’
Rubio’s fellow Floridian, Sen. Rick Scott, endorsed the bill, as did GOP Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Tim Scott of South Carolina, and Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
“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,” Rubio said in a statement.
The Biden administration has denied crack pipes were part of the overdose-mitigation scheme. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, National Drug Control Policy Office Director Dr. Rahul Gupta, and White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki all issued comments saying the report, first broken by the Washington Free Beacon, was wrong, or “misinformation.”
Yet the Free Beacon has countered that the administration has not provided information to refute the notion that the “safe smoking kits” in the program did not include crack pipes.
Some were upset that the administration was backpedaling.
The left-wing Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for broad decriminalization of narcotics, called the denials “deeply disappointing.”
“This is a missed opportunity to be preventative of more deaths due to overdose,” the group said on excluding crack pipes from the federal program.