A pair of jaunty, polka-dotted vending machines in Vancouver are selling something unusual: Crack pipes for a quarter. They have been installed to make sure addicts have a cheap, reliable source of pipes. "They don’t run the risk of then sharing pipes, or pipes that are chipped or broken," the director of a drug resource center tells CTV. "Everything from flu, colds, cold sores, HIV: If you cut your lip on a pipe that someone else has been using, there are risks there."
For harm reduction, "this is one piece of the larger puzzle," the director explains. "You have to have treatment, you have to have detox, you have to have safe spaces to use your drugs of choice and you have to have safe and clean supplies." The federal government, however, says it is firmly opposed to the initiative, reports the Globe and Mail. The government wants to focus on ways to end drug use, "including limiting access to drug paraphernalia by young people," a spokesman says. (Read more Vancouver stories.)