February 4

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (a branch of the HHS) announced a harm reduction grant program expected to issue $30 million in grant awards, funding for which was authorized by the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan. According to the SAMHSA plan, funds may be used to purchase “equipment and supplies to enhance harm reduction efforts,” including “safe smoking kits and supplies.”  After immediate backlash caused by a fear that federal funding would be used to purchase crack pipes and other paraphernalia, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and ONDCP Director Rahul Gupta were forced to issue a statement clarifying that no federal funding would be used to put pipes in safe smoking kits.