The Madeleine Brand Show

The Madeleine Brand Show is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Madeleine Brand

A UCLA study investigates if medical marijuana dispensaries impact crime

by The Madeleine Brand Show

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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. AP Photo

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.

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