Zakaria Mocks Cruz on 'New York Values' While Plugging Drug Legalization

On Sunday's Fareed Zakaria GPS, host Zakaria used a segment promoting an effort to legalize heroin in Ithaca, New York, as a way to mock Republican presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz's negative comments about "New York values," as the CNN host tagged the effort "a New York value that Ted Cruz would probably hate" and later concluded that "Maybe Ithaca's bold proposal -- its New York values -- aren't so bad after all."

Zakaria took aim at Senator Cruz in the show's opening tease: "Also, here's a New York value that Ted Cruz would probably hate: government-sanctioned heroin highs. But, like many other New York values, this one actually makes a lot of sense. I'll explain."



At 10:27 a.m. ET, the CNN host introduced the segment by showing a clip of Cruz at the FBN GOP presidential debate being asked about his comments on "New York values":

MARIA BARTIROMO, FBN ANCHOR, FROM GOP PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: Senator Cruz, you suggested Mr. Trump, quote, "embodies New York values." Could you explain what you mean by that?

TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I think most people know exactly what New York values are.

With the words "You want 'New York values,' Ted Cruz?" displayed at the bottom of the screen, Zakaria further introduced:

Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has made it very clear that he is not a fan of New York values, even as the Republican primary comes to the Empire State this week. But Cruz might be even more appalled by New York after hearing this story. The mayor of Ithaca, New York -- 29-year-old Svante Myrick, wants to allow his residents to legally shoot heroin.

He then added:

That's right. Under the mayor's proposal, drug users in this quiet Upstate town -- home to Cornell, University -- could walk into a taxpayer-funded injection center and get high. There is a powerful purpose here -- keeping heroin addicts alive with medically supervised highs while introducing them to treatment to fight their addictions.

After a segment in which he recalled that countries like Canada and Switzerland have facilities which encourage heroin addicts to use their drugs at these sites to entice them into treatment and provide easier access to medical care when they overdose -- which supposedly have resulted in heroin overdose deaths declining substantially -- the CNN host concluded by mocking Senator Cruz again:

If that sounds crazy, consider this: Opioid-related deaths from 1995 to 2013, most of which were heroin-related, dropped by two-thirds in Switzerland. If the United States had cut heroin-related deaths by that much, in 2013 alone, over 5,000 lives would have been saved.

Maybe Ithaca's bold proposal -- its New York values -- aren't so bad after all.

Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the Sunday, April 17, Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN:

FAREED ZAKARA, IN OPENING TEASE: Also, here's a New York value that Ted Cruz would probably hate: government-sanctioned heroin highs. But, like many other New York values, this one actually makes a lot of sense. I'll explain.

(...)

10:27 a.m. ET
ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World?" segment.

MARIA BARTIROMO, FBN ANCHOR, FROM GOP PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: Senator Cruz, you suggested Mr. Trump, quote, "embodies New York values." Could you explain what you mean by that?

TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I think most people know exactly what New York values are.

ZAKARIA: Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has made it very clear that he is not a fan of New York values, even as the Republican primary comes to the Empire State this week. But Cruz might be even more appalled by New York after hearing this story. The mayor of Ithaca, New York -- 29-year-old Svante Myrick, wants to allow his residents to legally shoot heroin.

That's right. Under the mayor's proposal, drug users in this quiet Upstate town -- home to Cornell, University -- could walk into a taxpayer-funded injection center and get high. There is a powerful purpose here -- keeping heroine addicts alive with medically supervised highs while introducing them to treatment to fight their addictions.

Heroin abuse is a nationwide epidemic, according to the CDC. Fatal overdoses nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013, ravaging small towns like Ithaca. In fact, drug overdoses killed over 46,000 Americans in 2013. That's more than gun violence, motor vehicle accidents, murder and suicide. Heroin deaths are a big proportion of those overdoses.

Criticism of Ithaca's supervised injection plan has been withering. A state legislator called the proposal "preposterous" and "asinine," according to the New York Times. Many fear that such a facility would only encourage more drug abuse. But similar programs have been up and running in several other countries for years and have achieved some remarkable success.

Vancouver, Canada, has been home to the Insite facility since 2003. The first legally supervised injection site in North America. Every day there, hundreds of addicts use injection booths with access to clean syringes overseen by nurses. Treatment and other health services are also available on site.

The result of the effort has been impressive. Fatal drug overdoses in the blighted neighborhood around Insite plummeted 35 percent, compared to just nine percent in other parts of the city, according to the British Columbia Center for Excellence in HIV AIDS. And not one fatal overdose has occurred at the site itself, Insite says. Those using the injection booths were 30 percent more likely to enter rehab. The site also saves taxpayer dollars by preventing expensive medical procedures for the addicts that it treats, Insite says.

The Canadian Medical Association supports the facility, as did Canada's supreme court which ruled in its favor to continue its operations in 2011. "Insite has been proven to save lives with no discernible negative impact on the public safety and health objectives of Canada," the court declared.

Worldwide, there are more than 90 supervised injection sites, mostly in Europe. The first opened in 1986 in Switzerland, where there are now 22 facilities that actually give heroin to addicts with the hope of treating them.

If that sounds crazy, consider this: Opioid-related deaths from 1995 to 2013, most of which were heroin-related, dropped by two-thirds in Switzerland. If the United States had cut heroin-related deaths by that much, in 2013 alone, over 5,000 lives would have been saved.

Maybe Ithaca's bold proposal -- its New York values -- aren't so bad after all.

NB Daily 2016 Presidential Debates Crime Culture/Society Canada Europe Conservatives & Republicans CNN Other CNN New York Video Fareed Zakaria Ted Cruz


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