Quick Hit: Dispensaries and Their Effect on Crime, Explored

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) recently released a memo titled, “Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Their Effect on Crime” which explored the claims “that medical marijuana dispensaries will lead to increased crime rates in surrounding areas.” What the report shows is that dispensaries do not correlate with increases in crime: “These studies suggest that dispensaries are no more likely to attract crime than any other business, and in many cases, by bringing new business and economic activity to previously abandoned or run-down retail spaces, dispensaries actually contribute to a reduction in crime.” The one concern regarding crime and dispensaries it turns out, MPP notes, is related to the cannabis industry being forced to be a cash business. The presence of large amounts of cash of course, encourages attempted robberies.

The studies cited in the report include a 2009 Los Angeles Police Department survey, a 2009 Denver Police Department survey, an analysis of the Denver Police Department and an analysis of the Colorado Spring Police Department, a 2011 UCLA study titled “Exploring the Ecological Link Between Crime and Medical Marijuana Dispensaries,” another study titled “The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime: Evidence from State Panel Data, 1990-2006” and more.

You can read MPP’s “Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Their Effect on Crime” here.

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