Marijuana Dispensaries Make Neighborhoods Safer: Study

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Whiteside Manor Blog

​A report published by one of the world’s most respected research organizations, the nonpartisan RAND Corporation, shows that local crime rates generally increased in areas after the closure of nearby medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles.

The study, conducted in June 2010 — just after many L.A. collectives were forced by the city to close — found that crime reports increased by about 60 percent within three blocks of a closed dispensary relative to the same distance around nearby open dispensaries.


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Moral Low Ground
Aaron Smith, NCIA: “This report just confirms what we’ve known all along”

​Incidents of assaults alone increased by 90 percent around closed dispensaries relative to areas with open dispensaries.
The report is a landmark refutation of hyperbolic and unfounded past assertions by opponents of medical cannabis suggesting that dispensaries cause crime. The report’s authors cite the existence of these claims and note, “[T]he claim that marijuana dispensaries per se attract crime has not been rigorously empirically evaluated. Our work is the first systematic, independent analysis of this claim.”
“This report just confirms what we’ve known all along,” said Aaron Smith, executive director for the National Cannabis Industry Association, a trade group representing the interests of state-legal medical marijuana businesses.
“In addition to creating jobs and paying taxes that support local public safety services, legitimate medical cannabis businesses contribute to safer neighborhoods by occupying and maintaining vibrant and secure storefronts — even in the face of a dismal economic climate,” Smith said.
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