Los Angeles County handing out taxpayer-funded crack pipes

by Jacob Fuller

Trey Paul, FISM News 

In an effort to cut back on skyrocketing overdose deaths in the “City of Angels,” glass pipes used for smoking crack and other drugs are being handed out by the Los Angeles County government.

A recent report in the Los Angeles Times is shining a light on the controversial “harm reduction” initiative, which many find disturbing. Not only is drug paraphernalia like pipes and clean needles being handed out to the homeless to curb the fentanyl epidemic but so are fentanyl test strips and naloxone, a medicine that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose.


Keith Humphreys, an addiction researcher at Stanford University is skeptical.

“When you start distributing opioids in the community, including to people to stop overdose, they will, in some cases, sell them and initiate new people onto drugs,” he said. “And those people will overdose. If you just say, we’re just going to supply these drugs, like, what is the end game?”

Members of the outreach team who hand these “harm reduction” supplies out claim they keep drug users alive and safe from infection and transmission of diseases. They also claim the pipes help users switch from injecting drugs to the safer route of smoking them.

They also say the initiative is a stepping stone to drug treatment.

“It’s like a business card saying, ‘When you want hope, come to me,’” said Chris Mack, an outreach worker with John Wesley Community Health Center. “We’ve been killing people with this prohibition.”

But others say this form of “harm reduction” doesn’t work and feel the crack pipes are helping to kill homeless people quicker.

“I wouldn’t get pipes to give them out myself,” said Skid Row organizer Manuel “O.G.” Campito. “You know Dr. Kevorkian assisted suicide? That’s pretty much what it is.”


There’s also the issue of funding and who’s paying for this initiative.

Last February, the Biden administration announced a $30 million grant that would fund nonprofits and local governments to make drug use safer for addicts. The Health and Human Services (HHS) “Harm Reduction” grant prioritized applicants who serve “underserved communities,” such as racial minorities or members of the LGBTQ community.

U.S. Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida was very frustrated by the move and called out the decision on social media. “Biden is sending free meth and crack pipes to minority communities in the name of ‘racial equity.’ There is no end in sight for this lunacy.”

FISM News reported that then White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki denied that crack pipes would be purchased with that grant and called into question whether or not she was being truthful.

At the beginning of this year, Senator Rubio’s “CRACK Act” was passed. The bill amended Section 2706 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to prohibit any funds from directly or indirectly purchasing, supplying, or distributing crack pipes or similar drug paraphernalia.

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

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.


According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 106,000 persons in the U.S. died from drug-involved overdoes in 2021, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids.

By comparison, the latest data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics indicate there were an estimated 107,622 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2021. That’s an increase of nearly 15% from the 93,655 deaths estimated in 2020.