UPDATE, Mar. 15, 2022: After the publication of this commentary, HHS spokeswoman Sarah Lovenheim tweeted, “To be clear: HHS is not distributing crack pipes.” This statement obviously contradicts a claim in the Free Beacon article referenced below. In addition, the following day, HHS issued a statement that said, in part, “no federal funding will be used directly or through subsequent reimbursement of grantees to put pipes in safe smoking kits.” After previously updating this commentary on Mar. 7, The Western Journal reached out for further clarification to Patrick Hauf, the author of the original Free Beacon piece. He explained that the unnamed HHS spokesman he cited would not specify what was in the “smoking kits,” but that they were used to smoke illegal drugs. We cannot therefore substantiate the commentary’s original claim that the federal government was subsidizing the distribution of crack pipes specifically, although it remains true that it is subsidizing illegal drug use.
Who said Hunter Biden wouldn’t have an influence on his father’s administration?
Sure, the president’s son isn’t going to be serving in any official capacity at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — not even as a painter. However, you can’t say his fingerprints aren’t all over a new program from President Joe Biden’s administration. (His lawyer probably swears, however, that they’re not Hunter’s.)
According to The Washington Free Beacon, the Biden administration will be spending taxpayer dollars to distribute crack pipes to drug addicts in the name of “racial equity.”
This is hardly the most preposterous program the Biden administration has advanced in the name of “equity” — and it’s yet more proof the man who ran as moderate ol’ Lunch Pail Joe has gone hard progressive. We’re continuing to chronicle the far-left leanings of the Biden administration here at The Western Journal. You can help us by subscribing.
On Monday, the Free Beacon reported that the socialized crack pipe initiative was tucked into a $30 million grant program that will begin in May. The Department of Health and Human Services grants will go to both local governments and nonprofits working toward “harm reduction” for drug users.
One of the ways your tax dollars will make it safer for people to get high? Funding for “smoking kits/supplies” for crack users — or, presumably, whoever likes smoking whatever through them.
A spokesman for HHS told the Free Beacon the kits could be used to inhale “any illicit substance,” although the type of pipe used to smoke crack is generally used to ingest harder drugs like crystal methamphetamine, as well.
“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,” the Free Beacon reported.
“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.'”
Hunter Biden is wealthy, male, white and straight, so it’s unlikely the president’s son — who has had a public struggle with crack cocaine and other drugs — will benefit from the program.
However, given that this is happening in the name of equity, maybe minorities and LGBT individuals will finally get the treatment Hunter has gotten: They’ll be enabled in their sundry addictions by Joe Biden, just in a lower-key manner than Hunter was.
This is breaking new ground in equity. Perhaps Burisma, the Ukrainian energy firm that gave Hunter $50,000 a month to sit on its board while he was in the throes of addiction — despite the fact he had minimal experience in the energy market or the Eastern European business sector — can also sponsor the distribution of the crack pipes.
When habitual users who receive the smoking kits lie on federal forms to obtain firearms, assuring the government under penalty of law that they aren’t drug addicts, they should face no legal consequences — just like Hunter didn’t.
Perhaps there can be a mentorship program in which local politicians get high with members of these underserved communities. It’ll be a networking opportunity just like Hunter had when, according to the New York Post, he said he smoked crack with the highest-profile officeholder ever credibly alleged to have used it, former Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry.
If there’s any money left over, perhaps we can subsidize other Hunter-related paraphernalia along with the smoking kits, allowing users to indulge in the full Hunter Biden experience.
Painting sets, say. Art therapy could fit under the aegis of “harm reduction,” after all. The best novice painters could have their works displayed in major art galleries for hundreds of thousands of dollars, just like Hunter’s. (Surely you concede the first son’s works received those six-figure valuations just because of his talent, right?)
Maybe we can even work free laptops into the program, considering those who smoke crack seem to damage a lot of them and forget them at repair shops. Let’s work to reduce that harm, no?
Unfortunately, there’s probably not enough money for these initiatives, at least not yet. There are only 25 awards of $400,000 that will be parceled out over three years, the Free Beacon reported, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be going toward art supplies, laptops or networking time with crack-smoking politicians: “Other equipment that qualifies for funding include syringes, vaccinations, disease screenings, condoms, and fentanyl strips,” the outlet noted.
And where is this money coming from? Um, the American Rescue Plan — the first of Biden’s mega-spending bills, one that was supposed to help us dig ourselves out of the economic mess lockdowns made for us with our own money.
This was an expensive enough shovel to dig with as it was without money being diverted to “harm reduction” programs, which are a favorite of big-city Democrats but less popular with more moderate voters. It’s not at all clear this is a particularly good use of money; Sgt. Clyde Boatwright, president of the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police, told the Free Beacon the funds would be better spent on drug prevention.
“If we look at more of a preventive campaign as opposed to an enabling campaign, I think it will offer an opportunity to have safer communities with fewer people who are [dependent] on these substances,” Boatwright argued.
Sure, that may be true. This way, however, at least we can say Hunter Biden will be proud.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.