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Medical marijuana dispensaries are not linked to neighborhood crime, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The University of California at Los Angeles study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, found that neighborhoods with medicinal cannabis dispensaries in Sacramento were no more likely to have crime than other neighborhoods, reports Jason Koebler at U.S. News.

According to the study’s authors, their new research may debunk a 2009 report from the California Police Chiefs Association that claimed marijuana dispensaries “have been tied to organized criminal gangs, foster large [marijuana growth]operations, and are often multi-million-dollar profit centers.”

A Brookland Girl

D.C. Councilman Claims Federal Prosecutor Won’t Let Them Decriminalize

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Tuesday said District officials should focus on implementing the new medical marijuana program, but should also “keep open their options” when dealing with recreational users. But at least one member of the D.C. Council claims that a federal prosecutor won’t let the council decriminalize cannabis.

Currently, D.C. has the toughest marijuana penalties in the region, reports Tim Craig of The Washington Post.
First-time offenders possessing any amount of cannabis can get up to six months behind bars and a $1,000 fine. In next door Virginia, first time offenders caught with up to a half ounce of pot top out at just a month in jail and a $500 fine.