shutting down medical marijuana dispensaries increases crime

In the study, entitled "Go to the Pot", the impact of clinic closures on crime, researchers Tom Y. Chang of the USC Marshall School of Business and Mireille Jacobson of the Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine Have examined the massive closure of hundreds of medical marijuana clinics in Los Angeles that took place in 2010.

"Contrary to popular wisdom, we found an immediate increase in crime around dispensaries ordered to close compared to those who are allowed to remain open," said Jacobson.

Both researchers found similar results when they examined restaurant closures.

"The connection between restaurants and MMDs is that they both contribute to the" markup score "of a given area. Higher scores have more" street eyes ", a factor that determines Types of crime, "said Jacobson.

The types of crime most affected by MMD and the closures of restaurants were land crime and vehicle theft. Researchers attributed this result to the fact that these types of crimes are plausibly dissolved by those present.

"Our findings show that clinics were not the magnets of the crime they were often described, but rather reduced crime in their immediate vicinity," Jacobson said.

When Chang and Jacobson examined the impact of temporary closures of restaurants in Los Angeles County, they found an increase in crime similar to that they found with MMD. They also found that once a restaurant reopened, the crime immediately disappeared.

Jacobson added, "We can conclude from our research that retail businesses are effective at lowering crime, even when retailing is a medical marijuana dispensary."