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Will Godfrey Will Godfrey

Crack-Pipe Vending Machines Are Vancouver’s Latest Good Idea

5 Substance

Vancouver has long been the leading light of North America’s harm reduction efforts, thanks in large part to Insite, the supervised drug consumption facility that has been saving lives for over a decade. Now the Portland Hotel Society, the organization behind Insite, has set up two vending machines that sell sterilized crack pipes for 25 cents each, as this short film by Nadim Roberts shows.

Sharing pipes, which sometimes cut or blister users’ mouths, can help to spread diseases like HIV and hep. C—but the relatively high cost of pipes on the street encourages crack users to risk sharing. Vancouver’s vending machines are controversial, but they really shouldn’t be.