Study: Crimes Spike Following Closing of Dispensaries

3410000930_95fc2866fa_zThe closure of medical marijuana dispensaries is associated with an increase in larceny, property crimes, and other criminal activities, according to data published in the Journal of Urban Economics.

Researchers at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Irvine assessed the impact of dispensary closures on neighborhood crimes rates in the city of Los Angeles. Investigators analyzed crime data in the days immediately prior to and then immediately after the city ordered several hundred operators to be closed. Authors reported an immediate increase in criminal activity – particularly property crime, larceny, and auto break ins – in the areas where dispensary operations were forced to close as compared to those neighborhoods were dispensaries remained open.

“[W]e find no evidence that closures decreased crime,” authors wrote. “Instead, we find a significant relative increase in crime around closed dispensaries.” Specifically, researchers estimated that “an open dispensary provides over $30,000 per year in social benefit in terms of larcenies prevented.”

They concluded, “Contrary to popular wisdom, we find an immediate increase in crime around dispensaries ordered to close relative to those allowed to remain open. The increase is specific to the type of crime most plausibly deterred by bystanders, and is correlated with neighborhood walkability. … A likely … mechanism is that ‘eyes upon the street’ deter some types of crime.”

The findings are consistent with those of prior studies determining that dispensary operations are not associated with ‘spillover effects’ in local communities, such as increased teen use or increased criminality.

An abstract of the study, “Going to pot? The impact of dispensary closures on crime,” appears online here.

The Medical Marijuana Academy Awards Another Scholarship, and it?s Going North!


Commerce Township, MI (PRWEB) August 25, 2010

The Medical Marijuana Academy (MMA) is traveling North in September as it hosts classes in Traverse City, Michigan on Friday the 10th through Sunday the 12th. The weekend course is being held at the Traverse Resort and Spa and will feature well-trained professors in horticulture, including Todd Alton, who has a B.S. in botany from Northern Michigan University. The Academy is also featuring classes pertaining to Michigan State Law (as taught by Attorney Paul C. Youngs), cooking with cannabis, securities, business, and marijuana as a medicine, a course taught by Diana Wilsher, who is also a medical doctor. ?Our goal is to be as thorough as possible when it comes to cannabis education,? says Derek Norman who is the President of the MMA.

Lisa B. from Northern Michigan is attending the courses in Traverse City through a scholarship provided by the MMA. In May of this year, the MMA presented Joseph Casias with a scholarship. He was fired from Wal-Mart due to testing positive for marijuana, though he is a registered patient with the State of Michigan and was not using on the job. When talking with Lisa, she says, ?I’m very happy the MMA selected me for the scholarship.? She then goes a bit deeper into her situation, ?I was diagnosed in 2003 with Multiple Sclerosis. I was a surgical R.N. and a professional, and I had to stop working.? In what some may find surprising, Lisa goes into her feelings about medicinal marijuana. ?Medicinal marijuana has by far been the best medication for my symptoms and has given me the best results overall.? The MMA is providing the complete course to Lisa G. and design insruction as well. H2 Hydro is also providing quality equipment as part of the scholarship.

In the past medical marijuana/cannabis has been known as reefer, pot, and ganja, among other names. But Professor Todd Alton presents another view. ?Through comprehensive education, students learn that this is a medicine; and it’s been so for thousands of years or longer. It’s even been in the United States Pharmacopoeia.? The MMA prides itself in being the premiere medical marijuana college. ?We’re going to present the best in cannabis education, and we’re going to stay the course with awarding scholarships,? says Norman. ?It’s about doing the best we can for patients and caregivers.?

The Medical Marijuana Academy is located in Commerce Township, Michigan. The MMA has welcomed students from around the United States and other countries. For more information on the MMA, visit their website http://www.medicalmarijuanaacademy.com or call 1-888-487-0005. Michigan residents passed The Medical Marihuana Act in 2008 by a landslide vote of 63 percent to 37 percent.

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