A pedestrian walks past a marijuana leaf neon sign advertising a medical marijuana provider along a street in the Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, Calif.
It's an oft-repeated assumption: Marijuana dispensaries are a magnet for crime. But very little research has actually been done on the subject.
Last year, a RAND report showed that crime actually went up in L.A. neighborhoods where pot dispensaries were shut down. That study was later retracted due to faulty methodology.
Now, a new study out of UCLA has some surprising conclusions. The study's authors say their research may debunk a 2009 report by the California Police Chiefs Association that said marijuana dispensaries "have been tied to organized criminal gangs, foster large [marijuana growth] operations, and are often multi-million-dollar profit centers."
Bridget Freisthler, one of the co-authors on UCLA's study on crime and medical marijuana dispensaries, and professor of social welfare at UCLA.