Vancouver Has Crack Pipe Vending Machines Now

Two machines have been established by the Portland Hotel Society, a drug treatment centre, so that habitual drug users have access to clean pipes.

1. Yes, this is a crack pipe vending machine.

Ben Nelms / Reuters

Pictured at the Washington Store in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighbourhood, British Columbia February 11, 2014.

2. It holds 200 pipes and is restocked every five days.

Ben Nelms / Reuters

3. It sells Pyrex crack pipes for 25 cents each.

Ben Nelms / Reuters

4. Kailin See, director of the Drug Users Resource Centre, told CTV: “For us, this was about increasing access to safer inhalation supplies in the Downtown Eastside.”

Ben Nelms / Reuters

5. Chipped pipes can cause everything from flu, colds and cold sores to HIV.

Ben Nelms / Reuters

6. The initiative has been criticised by the Canadian government.

Ben Nelms / Reuters

Steven Blaney, Canada’s minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, said: “Drug use damages the health of individuals and the safety of our communities. While the NDP 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.”

7. But the NGO defends the initiative.

Ben Nelms / Reuters

See told the Globe and Mail: “This machine decreases the street value of a pipe. There was a time when pipes were scarce and there was a lot of violence around acquiring a pipe, so we decided to saturate the market.”

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Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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