KENSTERDAM: Where The Philadelphia Police Maintain An Unspoken Truce In The War On Drugs

DAILY BEAST: The Daily Beast spent a night at this open-air market for pills and needles, talking to users and prostitutes about what’s come to pass for normalcy in Kensington: hard-core drug use without police interference. Heroin isn’t sold here much—that trade is controlled by Latin drug crews in the Badlands. But users who buy in the Badlands come to Kensington to shoot up. Addicts duck into vacant lots on the Avenue after returning from dope corners a couple of blocks away and, barely concealed by high weeds, casually cook and shoot speedballs. People are hanging out everywhere, turning tricks and working petty hustles. It’s an environment, they say, that is more tolerant of drug use than ever.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Next week Phawker will release a special report, THE TOP 10 DRUG-DEALING CORNERS OF PHILADELPHIA, a year-in-the-making enterprise reporting project conducted by Steve Volk and funded by a grant from J-Lab and the William Penn Foundation. An abridged version of the report will run as next week’s Philadelphia Weekly cover story, the full version will go live on Phawker next Wednesday.

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