Crack pipe vending machines in Canada; could it happen here?

A Vancouver group has installed crack pipe vending machines in its drug-plagued downtown, stirring a worldwide debate. Advocates cite public health concerns, while opponents claim the move only exacerbates the drug problem by giving it legitimacy.

Conservative syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” Tuesday and likened the situation to the drug problems in Zurich and Amsterdam.

“This stuff kills,” he told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. “[Despite] all the negatives on the ‘war on drugs,’ it keeps the number of people who suffer lower than it ordinarily would be.”

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Those who claim the harm from drug addiction is minimized by legalizing and regulating them are “living on the moon,” he told O’Reilly.

The host said there was one corner of the world where there was “no drug addiction at all” – Singapore, where dealers are hung and users are forced into a mandatory 22-month drug rehabilitation program.

Watch the exchange via Fox News.

The Pyrex crack pipes, available for 25 cents each, are meant to cut down on the spread of infectious disease from sharing the same pipe. Canada’s conservative-led government isn’t supporting the machines, however.

“While the (New Democratic Party) and liberals would prefer that doctors hand out heroin and needles to those suffering from addiction, this government supports treatment that ends drug use, including limiting access to drug paraphernalia by young people,” Canada’s federal safety minister, Steven Blaney, said, according to the New York Daily News reported.


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