Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin introduced bipartisan legislation Friday called the Preventing Illicit Paraphernalia for Exchange Systems (PIPES) Act, which would prohibit federal tax dollars from going toward “crack pipes” and other drug related paraphernalia, according to The Hill.
“Every American and West Virginian has been impacted by the drug epidemic that has killed over 101,000 Americans from April 2020 to April 2021,” Sen. Manchin said in a statement, according to The Hill. “While this is a heartbreaking issue that must be fully addressed by the federal government, using taxpayer funds to buy paraphernalia for those struggling with substance use disorder is not the solution.”
Sen. Rubio also voiced his concern. “Everyone knows someone who has struggled with addiction, and unfortunately, many have lost a loved one from the disease. Addiction is crippling, not only for the individual, but also for the family and communities throughout our country. We need to do more, but sending drug paraphernalia to addicts is not the answer.”
— The Hill (@thehill) February 11, 2022
The text of the bill states that the PIPES Act would maintain the precedent which prohibits federal funding from purchasing needles or syringes for the purpose of injecting illegal drugs, with the exception of the risk of hepatitis infection or HIV outbreak as a result of the drug use. (RELATED: Hunter Biden Describes Time When He Was ‘Smoking Anything That Even Remotely Resembled Crack Cocaine’)
The legislation also makes clear that federal funds prohibit procuring, supplying or distributing pipe and other paraphernalia that someone can use to smoke, ingest or inhale narcotics, according to The Hill.