Drug paraphernalia vending machines coming to rural Kentucky

Source: Hot Air

If you happen to be a drug addict living in some of the rural regions of Kentucky, there is some potentially good news coming your way. Vending machines are being installed in some of these locations where you will be able to obtain free drug paraphernalia. There will be “injection equipment” along with fentanyl test strips, condoms (?), and hygiene supplies. All of this important infrastructure for the illegal drug trade will be provided courtesy of the taxpayers, of course. This program was not dreamed up in the Bluegrass State, however. It’s a federal program approved by the Biden administration. Its goal is to eliminate the “stigma” of having to go to safe injection sites and ask for a crack pipe or a syringe. Now you can simply go to one of these kiosks and then be on your way in no time at all. (Free Beacon)

The Biden administration is set to spend $3.6 million to deploy vending machines filled with drug supplies in rural Kentucky—an effort the Biden administration claims will reduce stigma for drug users.

The project from the National Institutes of Health was launched in August and will study the effectiveness of “harm reduction kiosks” in rural Appalachia that contain “injection equipment, naloxone, fentanyl test strips, hygiene kits, condoms, and other supplies.” The vending machines allow drug users to obtain items such as syringes without interacting with a health professional, in hopes of eliminating the “stigma” that comes with visiting an in-person harm reduction facility, according to the health agency.

The White House referenced the project in an August 31 press release on its actions taken “to address addiction and the overdose epidemic.” The administration has adopted a wide range of harm reduction policies, which aim to make illicit drug use safer rather than eliminate it.

This is all part of what is currently being referred to as a group of “harm reduction” policies intended to combat the drug addiction and overdose crisis currently gripping much of the country. Earlier this year, the Biden administration announced a related plan that would have provided free crack pipes to users, but they backed off after seeing the resultant uproar around the country. Thus far there is no indication that the new vending machines will include crack pipes, but we’ll have to wait until one of the machines can be inspected to be sure.

The rationale behind these programs still seems to be rather self-defeating, at least to me. Putting an end to illegal drug use, particularly the “harder” and more deadly drugs, is a noble cause. And locking people up as part of the “war on drugs” has become very unpopular, particularly on the left. That part is easy enough to understand.

But if the goal is to end overdoses by getting people to stop doing drugs, shouldn’t your program include provisions that make it more difficult to take drugs and disincentivize their use? The goal of this program is essentially the direct opposite as stated in the White House announcement. They are aiming to “make illicit drug use safer rather than eliminate it.” But if it’s “safer,” then people have even less of an incentive to quit.

Not everything about this idea is bad, to be sure. If you can provide all of the drug users with fentanyl test strips and educate them on how they are used, you could probably eliminate a fair percentage of the overdose deaths we see today. Fentanyl is showing up in almost every drug available on the streets and it’s deadly. Of course, if you could stop fentanyl from coming from China and into the United States over our open southern border, that would probably cut down on the problem even more efficiently.

The other awkward subject to bring up is the fact that all of the hard drugs we’re talking about – heroin, methamphetamines, and cocaine in its various forms – are still illegal. It’s a felony to sell, transfer or possess any Schedule 1 drugs. No matter how noble your intentions might be, this is yet another example of this administration enacting policies that ignore or directly flaunt our laws rather than enforcing them. It’s the same as the government’s failure to enforce our immigration laws. If you want to make all drug use legal, then convince Congress to amend or eliminate those laws.