State Rep. Bradley Slagh, of Zeeland, today introduced a resolution to oppose the Biden administration’s decision to dedicate federal funds to the purchase of drug paraphernalia.
The administration plans to use $30 million of federal funding to furnish drug paraphernalia such as syringes and “safe smoking kits,” including components of crack pipes, to people with pre-existing drug addictions. The stated goal of the program is to reduce the harm associated with smoking crack cocaine and support overdose prevention.
Crack cocaine is well-known for being a highly addictive and powerful substance with devastating consequences. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that more than five million people used some form of cocaine, including crack, in 2019 alone. Cocaine poses increased risks for infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV, as well as physical conditions including stroke, seizures, and shrinking brain size. The drug is involved in nearly one in five overdose deaths – a rate that continues to climb every year.
Slagh said he was baffled when he first learned of the federal government’s plan.
“Regardless of the supposed benefit that the president’s administration claims as the reasoning behind supplying drug paraphernalia to American citizens, the health dangers and societal ramifications from smoking this highly addictive drug cannot be overstated,” Slagh said. “This resolution sends a clear message to our federal leaders that this program should be abandoned.”
The resolution states, “Not only does this plan ignore federal policy that makes it unlawful for any person to sell or offer drug paraphernalia, but it also does nothing to achieve the goal of harm reduction. Enabling addicts by providing the means to smoke crack cocaine, the federal government is promoting further harm to individuals and communities.”
Copies of the resolution will be transmitted to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, the President of the United States, and the members of the Michigan congressional delegation.
Rep. Slagh invites residents to join him at his upcoming morning office hours on Friday, Dec. 15 at the following times: 8 to 9 a.m. at The Farmhouse Restaurant, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Hudsonville City Hall, and 11 a.m. to noon at Big Apple Bagels.
Local office hours are an opportunity for constituents to meet face-to-face with Rep. Slagh to share their thoughts, questions, and concerns. No appointments are necessary to attend.
Slagh’s bill, named the “Acceptance of Cash in Tolling Act,” would require the acceptance of cash as a form of payment for any tolling on public infrastructure owned, operated or managed by the state, state transportation department or any other state or local government entity.
“Some $3.9 billion dollars were added to the budget at the last minute without any discussion or deliberation whatsoever; this elitist spending mentality is a disservice to the people of Michigan, and it’s not the way state government is supposed to work under our representative democracy,” Slagh said.