White House drug policy director John Walters toured a drug-ridden Atlanta neighborhood last night, the Associated Press reports. He passed street corners where nearly any illegal drug is for sale. Walters rode with police through the Vine City and Washington Park areas, one of the South’s busiest markets for heroin and crack.
Walters plans a 26-city tour later this year to survey the crime and poverty that accompany drugs.
“He wants to meet with people working in the area, look at initiatives in place, and from this dialogue get a sense of what local communities need to address the problem,” said Kareemah Abdullah, chair of the Genesis Prevention Coalition, a drug prevention group.
“The encouraging part is there are people pushing back against the problem,” Walters said. “When you push back, the problem gets smaller. This isn’t a situation where we don’t know what to do.”