Shutting down medical marijuana dispensaries raises crime rates

0
33

The neighborhood totally goes to pot … without legal pot.

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.

The neighborhood totally goes to pot … without legal pot.

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.

Here’s what happens when you stop using marijuana

“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.

Model and Property Released (MR&PR)

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.”

Property crime and robberies from cars were the most prevalent crimes committed by MMD and restaurant closures, the study said. This is most likely because those crimes in particular are heavily deterred by frequent foot traffic. When restaurants and dispensaries reopened, crime was immediately reduced.

“We can conclude from our research that retail businesses are effective in lowering crime, even when the retail business is a medical marijuana dispensary,” Jacobson said.

Twenty-nine states and Washington, D.C., now allow legal medical marijuana dispensaries. In New York alone, as of July 6, there are 1,105 practitioners prescribing marijuana and over 23,500 patients, according to the New York State Department of Health. And last week, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.) declared a state of emergency after the state’s recreational marijuana supply was running out less than two weeks after legalization.

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY