Lynn Lyman, California State Director for the Drug Policy Alliance, corroborated Downing’s point of view, saying that zero tolerance policies have no evidence of decreasing drug use and that money should be invested in harm reduction.
“The Drug Policy Alliance advocates ending the war on drugs. We’re trying to move drug use out of the criminal justice and into the public health system,” said Lyman. “The way we treat drug use now is to punish kids and rob them of many educational opportunities rather than support and help them.”
According to Lyman, zero tolerance policies contribute to the “school to prison pipeline” which had California build 23 prisons and only one public college in the last 25 years.