According to a new study published in the Journal of Urban Economics, the forced closure of marijuana dispensaries leads to an increase in crime.
For the study, researchers at the University of Southern California examined the impact of dispensary closures on crime rates in Los Angeles. Crime data was analyzed in the days before and after the city ordered hundreds of dispensaries to be closed.
“Contrary to popular wisdom, we find an immediate increase in crime around dispensaries ordered to close relative to those allowed to remain open”, states the study’s abstract. “The increase is specific to the type of crime most plausibly deterred by bystanders, and is correlated with neighborhood walkability.”
Researchers found “a similar pattern of results for temporary restaurant closures due to health code violations. A likely common mechanism is that “eyes upon the street” deter some types of crime.”
Researchers conclude by noting that “Open dispensaries provide over $30,000 per year in social benefit in terms of larcenies prevented”.
The full abstract and text of the study can be found by clicking here.
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