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Los Angeles: Crime on the Rise with Closing of Dispensaries

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Many critics were fearful when the first U.S. marijuana dispensaries opened during the 1990s. Concerns of out of control cannabis use and street crimes were expected with the legalization of medical marijuana. These critics were correct in their concerns, if they were referring to what would occur after dispensaries were forced to close their doors.

A recent study conducted by the Rand Corporation, actually showed that crime has gone up in certain areas where marijuana caregivers and dispensaries were previously open. On streets with closed dispensaries, the study indicated that crime went up as much as 60% when compared to streets with still operating dispensaries. LAPD detective, Robert Holcomb, disputes these findings and the research methods used. He feels the link makes no sense.

This article will not attack his claim or verify why Rand Corporation found these results. The numbers do not lie, even if the reason for the findings is not yet 100 percent clear. The larger issue is our approach to law enforcement. In many cases, when a product in demand becomes unavailable, crime often ensues. Medication (which is how many view cannabis), food, and other necessities can result in crimes when people are desperately seeking them. There is one fact that has been unchanged since recorded human history. The competition for resources will always produce undesirable side effects.

The United States spends a large portion of its tax revenue on law enforcement. Feeding this machine no longer seems sustainable. A new and progressive approach to law enforcement is needed. Taking away products in demand that people are seeking has not served us well historically.

CBSLocal.com | Los Angeles | LAPD Veteran Study Linking Closed Pot Shops Violence Makes No Sense

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