Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill this week banning the federal government from being able to buy crack pipes, and appear to have taken a shot at Democrat President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, who was an admitted crack addict, with the name the bill was given.
Dubbed the ‘‘Halting the Use of Narcotics Through Effective Recovery Act of 2022,’’ the bill is known as the ‘‘HUNTER Act of 2022.” The bill’s purpose is to “prohibit the use of Federal funds to purchase, or support the purchase of, drug paraphernalia.”
The bill states:
(a) IN GENERAL.—No Federal funds, including funds appropriated by section 2706 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (42 U.S.C. 290dd–3 note), may be used for the purchase, or to support the purchase by any recipient of Federal assistance, of any drug paraphernalia.
(b) DEFINITION.—In this section, the term ‘‘drug paraphernalia’’— (1) has the definition given to that term in section 863 of title 18, United States Code; and (2) includes, to the extent covered by such definition, crack pipes, harm reduction vending machines, syringes, and safe smoking kits and supplies.
One of the Republicans who introduced the bill told Fox News regarding the name that it was “a better acronym than Stop Paying to Subsidize Biden’s Son’s Drug Addiction act. That didn’t really flow.”
Fox News reported:
The hubbub over crack pipes originated from a $30 million new “harm reduction” grant proposal the Biden administration announced through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The stated purpose of the program funded through the Democrats’ American Rescue Plan is to prevent overdose deaths and reduce health risks associated with drug use. A list of supplies that can be purchased with the grant funds included overdose reversal medications, safe-sex kits with condoms, fentanyl test strips, syringes, as well as “Safe smoking kits/supplies,” according to grant documents.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Dr. Rahul Gupta Director Rahul Gupta said:
HHS and ONDCP are focused on using our resources smartly to reduce harm and save lives. Accordingly, no federal funding will be used directly or through subsequent reimbursement of grantees to put pipes in safe smoking kits. The goal of harm reduction is to save lives. The Administration is focused on a comprehensive strategy to stop the spread of drugs and curb addiction, including prioritizing the use of proven harm reduction strategies like providing naloxone, fentanyl test strips, and clean syringes, as well as taking decisive actions to go after violent criminals who are trafficking illicit drugs like fentanyl across our borders and into our communities. We will continue working to address the addiction and overdose epidemic and ensure that our resources are used in the smartest and most efficient manner.
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