by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Two Maine organizations slated to receive funding from a controversial Biden administration grant program for groups that support a “harm reduction” approach to drug treatment are actively distributing crack pipes to addicts, the Free Beacon learned at visits to these sites.
The Church of Safe Injection, which bills itself as a “nonprofit that fights for the health, rights, and dignity of people who use drugs (PWUD),” will receive funding through a $1.2 million grant the Biden administration awarded to a coalition of Maine groups. A Free Beacon reporter last week picked up a crack pipe and meth pipe at its Lewiston, Maine, office. The organization did not provide a smoking kit, which often includes a mouthpiece, copper wool, and alcohol wipes along with the pipe.
Maine Access Points, another organization set to receive funding through the grant, provided a Free Beacon reporter a bag of a dozen crack pipes in Sanford, Maine, along with foil and a smoking kit that contained a mouthpiece, copper scrubber, lip balm, and instructions on how to smoke crack cocaine. The organization also handed out three meth pipes, a snorting kit, naloxone, fentanyl test strips, and a condom. Maine Access Points has a phone number for each of its five harm reduction facilities in the state. When a Free Beacon reporter texted to ask if the Sanford location distributed crack pipes, an employee responded, “Yes💯😊🥰.”
The explanation emerging from the organizations—which cop to distributing crack pipes and receiving taxpayer funding, but insist they are not using taxpayer funds to purchase the crack pipes—paints a far messier picture than the Biden administration’s haughty dismissal of initial reports on the grant program as “misinformation.”
When the Free Beacon reported in February that the Biden administration was set to fund the distribution of crack pipes through a harm-reduction program intended to advance “racial equity,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra—facing blowback—said that “no federal funding will be used directly or through subsequent reimbursement of grantees to put pipes in safe smoking kits.”