Myrick’s Drug Policy Garners Mixed Reactions from Cornellians, Ithacans

Mayor Svante Myrick’s ’09 controversial new drug policy plan — which proposes the implementation of the country’s first supervised heroin injection site — has been met with mixed reactions from both the Cornell and broader Ithaca community. At these proposed injection facilities, drug users would be able to receive monitored injections of opioids to reduce the risk of overdose without the fear of arrest. The mayor’s plan is billed as focusing on rehabilitation rather than punishment, as it will instruct police officers to direct users to the social service system rather than perpetuate incarceration for low-level offenses. Several Cornellians expressed enthusiasm for the plan, saying they are hopeful about the larger changes the initiative could spark. Maria Chak ’18 said she appreciates the mayor’s efforts in reforming the system “from a punishment to a more rehabilitative framework.”
“For more than four decades, law enforcements have been arresting low-income, people of color for drug abuses but it has proven to have little effect,” Chak said.