Shuttered Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Los Angeles Lead to More Crime Study Says

Shuttered medical marijuana dispensaries by the local government in Los Angeles back in 2010 allowed for an opportunity to study crime rate after the dispensary was closed. Since very little research has been done on cannabis due to its status with the federal government, any opportunity to collect any sort of data is valued.

After authorities shuttered 439 medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles in 2010, crime dramatically rose, according to a new study from the University of California, Irvine.

“We found a roughly 12% relative increase in crime,” co-author Mireille Jacobson told the Daily News.

The stores were forced to shut down when the city began a wave of mass regulations on dispensaries.

“Contrary to popular wisdom, we found an immediate increase in crime around dispensaries ordered to close relative to those allowed to remain open,” Jacobson told Science Daily. “Our results demonstrate that the dispensaries were not the crime magnets that they were often described as, but instead reduced crime in their immediate vicinity.”

These results are similar to a Marijuana Policy Project’s previous findings on a dispensaries’ effect on crime. The Denver Police Department saw that through the first nine months of 2010, crime was down 8.2% from the previous year after a dispensary was introduced to the neighborhood.

These results could prove relevant if the Trump administration uses the power of the federal government — which regulates marijuana — to tighten regulations on the industry, potentially shuttering some dispensaries.

The UC Irvine study’s results, published in the “Journal of Urban Economics,” were actually the same when the researchers looked at what happens to crime in a neighborhood when restaurants close, too.

“The connection between restaurants and Medical Marijuana Dispensaries is that they both contribute to the ‘walkability score’ of a given area,” Jacobson said. “Areas with higher scores have more ‘eyes upon the street’ a factor that is proven to deter some types of crime.”

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Source: MJFeed

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