Brows were raised and eyes rolled back when needle exchange programs were first implemented to stop the spread of disease. Giving away free and clean syringes to heroin users seemed preposterous to many. Now it is a common practice and almost universally accepted as a means to prevent the spread of HIV. Could the same happen with free crack pipes?
Soon after our story was posted Friday, KPIX 5 received a flurry of phone calls and emails from city officials denouncing the idea to distribute the crack pipes.
Mayor Ed Lee was first with a statement, via an email from his spokesperson, Christine Falvey: “Mayor Lee is not aware of this exploration and is not supportive. There are many other HIV interventions that could and should be explored before ever considering this.”
Barbara Garcia, Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, elaborated in a phone call to KPIX 5.