The $30 million grant program will help NGOs and municipal governments make drug use safer for addicts by providing funding. Funds for “smoking kits/supplies” are included in the award, supervised by the Department of Health and Human Services. The users will smoke drugs like crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and “any illegal drug” with the pipes included in these kits.
According to the reports, the bulk of “underserved populations,” including African Americans and “LGBTQ+ folks,” must be treated by applicants. According to HHS, the kits are designed to limit the risk of infection while smoking narcotics using glass pipes.
Moreover, residents in Democratic-controlled areas like San Francisco and Seattle have long been handed smoking kits. Louisville, Kentucky, first permitted convenience stores to sell smoking kits but ultimately outlawed them completely. After receiving opposition from local police enforcement and African-American leaders, Maryland legislators abandoned their idea as well.
Furthermore, the President of the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police believes that rather than making drug abuse safer, more should be done to prevent it in the first place. Sgt. Clyde Boatwright said that he thinks it will give a chance to create safer neighborhoods with fewer people reliant on these narcotics.
Therefore the initiative will run for three years and award 25 grants totaling $400,000. It is funded by the American Rescue Plan, which the Senate ratified on a party-line vote through a tie-breaking vote. Mouthpieces to avoid glass cuts, rubber bands to prevent burns, and filters to reduce the danger of illness are all included in similar kits. Unless the government permits, it is illegal to distribute or sell drug paraphernalia.