Canadian City To Hand Out Free Crack Pipes

The city of Vancouver is getting set to hand out free crack pipes to drug users. Later, this year, Canadian health officials there said they would begin handing out pipes as part of a “harm reduction” program aimed at curbing the spread of disease among addicts. It also presents an opportunity for addicts to interact with social workers in an effort to get help.

While heroin users can pick up clean needles from needle-exchange programs or the city’s controversial safe-injection site, crack pipes are more difficult to come by. Some crack smokers can afford to buy small glass or Pyrex stems to use as pipes. Others fashion makeshift pipes from bottles, cans or even hollow car antennas. And in many cases, they just simply share, potentially putting themselves at risk of contracting disease.

“We want to do it in a way that we can evaluate this, because there’s a couple of questions I hope we can answer by doing this,” says Dr. Patricia Daly, the medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health. “And not just about demand and numbers, but can we use this as an engagement strategy like we do with our other harm-reduction initiatives. If you can deliver harm-reduction programs in a way where you can get people into other services, that’s very beneficial.”

In Canada as a Schedule I substance, crack is not differentiated from cocaine and other coca products in the Criminal Code of Canada. However, the court may weigh the socio-economic factors of crack usage in sentencing. As a guideline, Schedule I drugs carry a maximum 7 year prison sentence for possession for an indictable offense, up to life imprisonment for trafficking and production. A summary conviction on possession carries a $1000–$2000 fine and/or 6 months to a year imprisonment.

By: Pat Prescott
Published: Aug 1, 2021
Stay ConnectedSocial

FacebookAdd our Facebook page to receive updates and participate in new tools and features. It's a great way to stay connected with all the latest news.

TwitterReceive daily bite-sized updates by following us on Twitter. Receive Tweet-sized 140-character updates on your mobile phone device or PC.

RSSSubscribe to our daily RSS feed to get the latest national news stories. We offer a feed for every topic including business, entertainment, health, politics, science & technology, travel and more.

Odd NewsOdd