During Thursday’s White House press conference, outgoing Press Secretary Jen Psaki was pressed once again about the inclusion of crack pipes in safe smoking kits that are funded by Biden administration grants.
One reporter, referencing comments made by Psaki in February after initial reporting from the Washington Free Beacon revealed the inclusion of these items in the kits, asked Psaki whether taxpayer money went towards these crack pipes, found in kits obtained by the Free Beacon.
"No federal funding has gone to it," said Psaki.
In an additional question, the reporter asked: "is there any oversight to ensure that when that money goes out for the programs that these organizations will not use federal dollars for crack pipes?"
"This policy does not allow for crack pipes to be included. I would just note that this is a bit of a conspiracy theory that's been spread out there. It's not accurate. There's important drug treatment programs for people who have been suffering from what we've seen as an epidemic across the country and money is not used for crack pipes," Psaki responded.
The questioning came in response to the Free Beacon traveling to five different harm-reduction organizations across the east coast, gathering kits from each of them. Each of these kits contained crack pipes, as well as other drug paraphernalia.
These kits were acquired by Free Beacon reporters with little information being necessary to give employees. In New York City, they were offered "a long menu of drug paraphernalia available free of charge."
Some kits included a card dubbed a "get-out-of-jail-free card," which states that the person who acquired the drug use items did so in an authorized way.
The White House had previously shot down claims that these kits would include crack pipes shortly after the grant program was announced earlier this year.
Psaki said in February that crack pipes "were never a part of the kit. It was inaccurate reporting and we wanted to put out information to make that clear."
When asked if the administration supports efforts to distribute drug paraphernalia, Psaki had said that the program does not provide for the purchase of pipes, either directly or indirectly. It does, however, provide syringes.
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