The Anne Arundel County Health Department employees who decided to distribute crack pipes in a largely Black neighborhood of Annapolis meant well. They were caught, however, in the sharp-toothed gap between those who see drug use as a public health crisis, those who see it as a crime and those still feeling the wounds of America’s war on drugs. And because the cost of that war, started through fear and ignorance in the 1980s, fell hardest on the Black community, the poorly communicated plan to address the spread of disease from shared pipes for smoking crack, heroin and meth angered and shocked many. Regardless of this bollocked campaign, the tide of public policy is irrevocably shifting toward treating drug abuse as a health issue.
Our Say: Poorly executed crack pipe initiative in Annapolis caught in the gap of perceptions on drugs
April 15, 2021