Do Dispensaries Promote Crime? Not According To This Study! A recently published discussion by the IZA Research Institute declares busts the myth t
Do Dispensaries Promote Crime? Not According To This Study!
A recently published discussion by the IZA Research Institute declares busts the myth that cannabis dispensaries increase crime. The report finds no links between violent or non-violent crimes and dispensary location. The study was performed by researchers with the RAND Corporation.
Additionally, the study also looked into links between dispensaries and substance abuse crimes as well. No evidence of that, either!
Thanks to this review, efforts to spread regulation and decriminalization are strengthened.
Dispensaries Promote Crime? – No Evidence To Suggest More Crime Near Dispensaries
Authors of the study not only found no link to crime, they found no evidence legal medical marijuana dispensaries result in higher crime rates. In fact, authors said they saw some evidence of a decrease in property crimes.
Authors did find an association between dispensaries and DUI offenses, unfortunately. By comparison, data published in the American Journal of Public Health reports that dispensaries are related to a decline in fatal motor vehicle crashes among drivers ages twenty-five to forty-four years old.
RAND’s investigators concluded:
Our study appears to reinforce the conclusions from other studies that fail to find an increase in the type of crime predicted by law enforcement. We find no effects on burglary, robberies, or assaults, which are the types of crimes one would expect if dispensaries were prime targets as a result of their holding large amounts of cash. … Our findings suggest that it is possible to regulate these markets and find a common ground between safety and access to medical marijuana.
Dispensaries Promote Crime? – More Evidence In Support Of Dispensaries
An article in Preventative Medicine from 2017 reinforces these recent positive findings. A group of scientists from the Faculty of California, San Jose State Faculty, and the Faculty of Kansas assessed the geographical relationship between criminal and retailers in South Los Angeles.
According to PM, although retailers specializing in alcohol and tobacco are connected with a higher prevalence of community crime, medical cannabis dispensaries are not.
Results indicated that mean property and violent crime rates within 100-foot buffers of tobacco shops and alcohol outlets – but not MMDs (medical marijuana dispensaries) – substantially exceeded community-wide mean crime rates and rates around grocery/convenience stores. … Thus, study findings provide the first empirical evidence that tobacco shops may constitute public health threats that associate with crime and violence in US low-income urban communities of color. – Preventative Medicine
Journal of Urban Economics
Furthermore, dispensaries may deter crime! The forced closure of medical cannabis retail facilities was linked with an uptick in crime by the Journal of Urban Economics. Researchers analyzed crime information in the period immediately before then immediately after the city forced 100 dispensaries to close.
Scientists did identify a quick rise in criminal activity. However, it wasn’t where you’d expect. The rise occurred within the places where dispensary operations have been forced to close. This is as compared to crime rates in the neighborhoods where marijuana retailers continued operating. They found this especially true for property crime, larceny, and auto break-ins.
Additionally, authors of the study concluded that open dispensaries provide more than $30,000 per year in social advantage as a result of the decrease in theft.
Faculty of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Yet another prior study from 2012 supports the benefit of dispensaries for local communities. Investigators at the Faculty of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) examined whether the spread of medical marijuana dispensaries is linked with elevated crimes rates. Researchers assessed violent crime and property crime in relation to location and density of dispensaries. They gathered data across ninety-five census tracts in Sacramento. The data was gathered in 2009.
Researchers found no cross-sectional associations between dispensary density and violent or property crime rates. The study goes a step further. Authors propose that the dispensaries’ own security efforts may deter theft and break-ins.
Dispensaries Promote Crime? -Spread The Truth!
It’s up to all of us to continue to do our best to spread the truth about legal marijuana. Whether recreational or medicinal, communities can safely integrate legal cannabis into their midst.