Closing cannabis dispensaries increases crime, according to California study

While NIMBYs tend to assert that cannabis dispensaries increase crime rates, a recent study is turning that notion on its head.

By examining crime rates following the mass closure of 400 unregistered medical cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles in 2010, researchers have shown that closing dispensaries is actually more likely to result in an increase in neighbourhood crime.

In a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Urban Economics called “Going to pot? The impact of dispensary closures on crime”, researchers from the University of California Irvine looked closely at how crime rates were affected when the city chose to close nearly two thirds of the city’s pot shops.

By comparing crime rates from the areas near the shuttered dispensaries with rates from areas where shops remained open, they were able to come to some interesting conclusions about the role that the shops played in preventing crime.

“Contrary to popular wisdom,” UC Irvine researcher Mireille

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