Santa Monica-based RAND Corporation has released a study that shows crime rises in the surrounding area when a medical marijuana dispensaries closes, when compared to areas where dispensaries are allowed to remain open.
The findings challenge the common wisdom that marijuana dispensaries promote criminal activity.
Studying crime both before and after a large number of dispensaries were shut down in Los Angeles, researchers found that incidents such as break-ins rose in the neighborhoods of closed dispensaries relative to dispensaries allowed to remain open, at least in the short term.
In the blocks with the closed dispensaries, the study observed crime up to 60 percent greater than comparable blocks with open dispensaries, but the effects were not apparent across a wider area.
“If medical marijuana dispensaries are causing crime, then there should be a drop in crime when they close,” said Mireille Jacobson, the study’s lead author and a senior economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “Individual dispensaries may attract crime or create a neighborhood nuisance, but we found no evidence that medical marijuana dispensaries in general cause crime to rise.”
Researchers say the crime detected near closed dispensaries relative to open dispensaries may be caused by factors such as a loss of foot traffic, a resurgence in outdoor drug activity, a change in police efforts such as fewer nearby patrols or a loss of the on-site security provided by dispensaries.
Keep Up-To-Date With The Mirror:
Follow The Mirror on Twitter: twitter.com/SMMirror
Follow The Mirror on Facebook: facebook.com/SMMirror