Author Topic: Coming to a city near you? Canada installing crack pipe vending machines  (Read 195 times)

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Coming To A City Near You? Canada Installing Crack Pipe Vending Machines 

Mike Miller  Mike Miller
On February 10, 2014

A non-profit group in Vancouver, Canada has installed the country’s first-ever crack pipe vending machines, which it claims will stop the spread of disease. The pipes will cost crack users a quarter each.

“For us, this was about increasing access to safer inhalation supplies in the Downtown Eastside,” said Kailin See, director of the Drug Users Resource Centre. Recently, San Francisco began handing out free crack pipes based on the same argument.

The argument presented by Vancouver for the crack pipe vending machines differs from that of San Francisco. Here’s Vancouver’s logic:

“They don’t run the risk of then sharing pipes, or pipes that are chipped or broken. Everything from flu, colds, cold sores, HIV: If you cut your lip on a pipe that someone else has been using, there are risks there.”

San Francisco makes a broader argument:

“It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s a great program. Once you can bring people into your program, make them feel respected, taken care of, then they’re more likely to come back and get on HIV meds and want to be engaged and taking care of their health.”

While it’s easy to pick apart the Vancouver argument – why would two crackheads in need of a pipe spend fifty cents when they can get away for a quarter – the question is much larger: Does making drug paraphernalia more readily accessible to drug addicts make it easier for them to do drugs, or does it reduce their chances of contracting a disease? Tell us what you think.
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