McKinley Introduces Bill Preventing Taxpayer Dollars From Purchasing Crack Pipes and Drug Paraphernalia
This bill extends common sense restrictions so taxpayers aren’t funding illicit drug use
Washington, February 15, 2022
Washington, D.C. – Congressman David B. McKinley (WV-01) introduced today the Preventing Illicit Paraphernalia for Exchange Systems (PIPES) Act, in response to recent news reports that grants offered through the American Rescue Plan were authorized for the purchase of "safe smoking kits", which may include crack pipes or meth pipes.
The PIPES Act will extend the longstanding, common sense precedent of restricting taxpayer dollars from being used to purchase illegal drug paraphernalia, such as needles or crack pipes, to include Covid relief funds.
“Even the notion of providing crack pipes and other drug paraphernalia, paid for using taxpayer dollars, to individuals facing serious substance abuse challenges, is a new level of absurdity,” said Rep. McKinley. “Yet, we are forced to legislate common sense.”
“There is no logical reason for the federal government to facilitate the use of deadly illegal substances at a time when the U.S. saw a record of more than 100,000 drug overdose deaths last year and West Virginia continues to be devastated by drug overdose deaths, ranking highest in the country during that period,” said Rep. McKinley.
“Instead, we should be providing resources that expand prevention, treatment and recovery efforts, while enhancing drug interdiction and enforcement efforts that protect our children and individuals suffering from addiction,” said Rep. McKinley.
U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Senate version of the PIPES Act last week.
For more than 30 years, Congress has passed annual funding bills explicitly prohibiting federal funds from being used to purchase needles or syringes for injection of any illegal drug. This common sense prohibition must be maintained and we must also ensure that this applies to materials and paraphernalia that can aid individuals in smoking or inhaling illegal drugs.
These prohibitions failed to be included in the American Rescue Plan and a recent $30 million Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant which included syringes and safe smoking kits, which may include crack pipes and meth pipes, as allowable expenses.