Drug Policy

Zero Tolerance


The Washington Post's Courtland Milloy tells the story of Frances Johnson, an elderly woman facing eviction from public housing after police arrested her grandson for gambling in the street, then found a small amount of marijuana under his mattress. The marijuana ran afoul of a "one strike" policy which holds public housing recipients accountable for crimes committed by the people living with them.

Johnson is a good example of how in additional to being cruel, the "one strike" policy is counterproductive. Johnson is known in her community for her work with at-risk youth, including taking her grandson and some other children into her home several years ago after they were traumatized after witnessing a paramilitary drug raid.

Wonder how many people in public housing will follow Johnson's lead of mentoring to at risk kids, including taking some into their homes, if they risk eviction should one of those kids commit a crime?