RAND: Closing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Causes Crime


Russian Kush does not cause crime

UPDATE 10/11/11: Pressure from the City Attorney’s office has caused RAND to remove the study from their website.

The RAND corporation, a non-partisan rightwing think tank, has released a study today which shows that crime shot up over 60% in the three block radius around shuttered pot shops. From today’s Daily News story:

RAND Corp. studied crime reports over the 10 days before and after June 7, 2010, when the city shuttered hundreds of pot shops. The Santa Monica-based think tank found that crime shot up 60 percent within three blocks of closed dispensaries as compared to those where dispensaries were allowed to remain open. “There’s the common wisdom that dispensaries are crime magnets,” said Mireille Jacobson, the study’s lead author and a senior economist at RAND. “And this flies in the face of that.”

“If medical marijuana dispensaries are causing crime, then there should be a drop in crime when they close,” Jacobson said. “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.”

The City Attorney’s office had a characteristically nonsensical reply:

“(Dispensaries) are a center for crime,” said Detective Robert Holcomb of LAPD’s Narcotics Enforcement Detail in the San Fernando Valley.

“Look at it from a criminal standpoint: Here is a location that you know contains narcotics, money so what better location to rob?”

By that logic, pharmacies and banks should be shut down immediately, as clearly they are magnets for crime! Also, we should definitely allow criminals to dictate what type of businesses are allowed to operate in our city, and not patients, caregivers and doctors.

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Comments (1) to “RAND: Closing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Causes Crime”

  1. [...] are tons of other responses, from Curbed L.A.  to L.A. Taco, but without question the most fun comes from the Reason Foundation, which begins its post with an [...]