Vancouver is now home to the first-ever crack pipe vending machines in Canada.
In an effort to curb widespread disease, for just 25 cents drug users can get their very own Pyrex crack pipe from one of two machines in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside
The durable pipes are less likely to cut a drug users mouth, which should crack down on the spread of communicable diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.
The machines were installed by the Portland Hotel Society's Drug Users Resource Center.
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"For us, this was about increasing access to safer inhalation supplies in the Downtown Eastside,” DURC director Kailin See told CTV Vancouver.
The price of a new crack pipe on the street is about $10, one just high enough to make users share old, damaged pipes.
See says the machine will decrease the street value of a pipe, making it easier to users to get new, durable pipes instead of sharing or using damaged ones.
Harm reduction approaches to drug use have garnered a great deal of criticism in Canada. When InSite, the only medically supervised place to use drugs in North America, opened in Vancouver in 2008, federal officials attempted to shut the program down.
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“Drug use damages the health of individuals and the safety of our communities,” said Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney. “We believe law enforcement should enforce the law.”
See argues that each new HIV and hepatitis patient costs the taxpayers up to $250,000 in medical costs, in comparison to a 25-cent pipe.