Canadians can’t purchase incandescent bulbs, but they can buy crack pipes out of vending machines.
As of this year, Canadians can no longer buy 75-watt and 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. The Conservative Harper government banned the light bulbs, making it so the entire country can no longer buy them once supplies run out. This, however, is just the first phase of the incandescent bulb ban as 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs will be banned at the beginning of next year.
Canadians will now have to use compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs which are costlier and contain toxic mercury. But CFLs are more energy efficient and are supposed to last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs.
While some Canadians reel from the recent ban, U.S. residents have been living with an incandescent light bulb ban for the last few years. This year saw the last phase of the light bulb ban signed by former President George W. Bush go into effect — outlawing 40-watt and 60-watt incandescent bulbs.
To make sure that no one gets too depressed by the dim CFL lights, the city of Vancouver is now selling crack pipes out of vending machines for 25 cents. There are currently two locations with such vending machines in the Canadian city.
The hope is that by selling cheap crack pipes they can improve the health and safety by stopping the spread of diseases through people sharing fewer pipes. It’s similar to giving away free needles to drug addicts so they don’t share old needles and contract illnesses.
“We’re not quite there yet with pipes, where we are with needles,” Kailin See, director of the Drug Users Resource Centre, told The Province newspaper. “But to us, it’s all the same. We need to ensure people aren’t spreading diseases, and keeping people’s mouths and bodies as healthy as possible.”
Crack pipes go for $5 or more on the streets which “put people, especially women, at risk, either trading sex or drugs for pipes or just generally putting them in harm’s way,” See added. Selling pipes for 25 cents would give these people access to clean pipes and saturate the crack pipe market and drive down the street price.
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