Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Don't Attract Crime, They Prevent it

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Much like every other bad thing that's ever been said about marijuana, complaints about the role of medical dispensaries in creating crime have turned out to be wild exaggerations. If you don't believe me, try asking someone a little more qualified to opine on the matter, like, for example, the frickin' Police Chief of Los Angeles:


Despite neighborhood complaints, most medical marijuana clinics are not typically the magnets for crime that critics often portray, according to Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck.

"Banks are more likely to get robbed than medical marijuana dispensaries," Beck said at a recent meeting with editors and reporters of the Los Angeles Daily News.

Opponents of the pot clinics complain that they attract a host of criminal activity to the neighborhoods, including robberies. But a report that Beck recently had the department generate looking at citywide robberies in 2009 found that simply wasn't the case. [LA Daily News]

Well, how do you like that? Banks are robbed constantly by angry gun-wielding assholes, but you've never heard anyone lobbying to keep them 1,000 feet away from schools and parks. Meanwhile, the biggest security threat at the dispensaries has typically been the DEA (and yes, they were routinely grabbing money from dispensaries at gunpoint until the DOJ told them to find something better to do)

The very notion of dispensaries attracting crime is largely illogical on its face, given that the whole purpose of their existence is to remove sick people from the black-market marijuana economy. Legal medical marijuana providers reduce crime on a massive scale simply by opening their doors each day. Even The Washington Post has observed the role of dispensaries in undermining cartel profits, and one couldn’t possibly calculate the cumulative crime-control benefits of millions of marijuana transactions that would otherwise have occurred in the shadows.

Cheap and unfounded claims about dispensaries attracting crime have served only to discredit their authors, while infusing needless controversy and confusion into the regulatory process. As advocates for medical marijuana, we have no opposition to sensible regulations, but policy debates should be aimed at serving the interests of patients and the community, not indulging fictitious fears at the expense of helping real people.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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"Sensible regulations"?

The only sensible thing to do is to eliminate "drug-related" crime completely by legalizing freedom and regulating the production and distribution of all drugs. American lawmakers and law enforcers know that already. They're the ones who created drug-related crime in the first place.

Mr Goodman!

This is obvious that there is a lack of expertise, for which you qualified your comment in the first place. The fact is, alcohol is the, most likely, the gateway drug. The other theories, of cannabis being a gateway drug, have fallen by the wayside. That has happened because the researchers have clearly demonstrated that there is no evidence to name one drug any more a gateway than any other. The fact that people buy their drugs from criminals, likely, has a lot to do with the gateway theory about cannabis, as well! The purchase of drugs from the black market, means drug purchaser are going to be more exposed to, other, harder, drugs. The dealers don't card, either! So, it could be your kids exposed to these dangerous criminals. You don't see that when underage drinkers are trying to buy alcohol! They get carded!

What reports?

Please be specific. You sure you're not confusing bald faced claims with serious reports?
In several important ways prohibition makes that progression from cannabis to the hard stuff more likely:
By feeding people gross exaggerations on the dangers of cannabis, once people realize they have been lied to about cannabis, they figure they are being lied to about other drugs as well.
The places people have to go to obtain cannabis often have hard drugs available as well, and dealers have every incentive to try to get new customers hooked on them (free samples!).
Since liking cannabis makes many people unable to find a job (can't pass the piss test), or a decent job, they can't afford cannabis, their lives becomes very difficult and depressing, so why not use hard drugs since it doesn't make any difference anyway, their lives are already ruined because they prefer peaceful cannabis to killer alcohol. This applies even more to people who've been arrested over weed.
I hope to read your response, M. Goodman.

reports? how about life experience

I know, I lived it.
I have friends I knew, they lived it.
I do not need to read any reports.

And just what IS a 'gateway drug'?

Alcohol and Cigarettes... easy to obtain, even for kids.
Usage of these often leads to further experimentation, with marijuana, and other drugs. Alcohol is a drug as well, the fact the feds lifted prohibition on it already doesnt make it any different, just legal. Been smoking for years, never been arrested, passed every work piss test (only the naive think this cant be beaten), and I have worked and been successful and respected. Stereotyping those that smoke marijuana is spreading misinformation in itself. I would say your sources are pure propaganda, and have no facts behind them as well.
My facts, came from life experience, and observation of others, need I write and publish them to make them legitimate? Sorry! Im too busy WORKING!!!

Dispensaries Attracting Crime...

was the title of this article, but somehow the comments turned to "gateway" drugs.  This term makes no sense and is a bad argument against decriminalization and medical use.  I think people who are going to become drug users or abusers are going to progress to that regardless of what they start with.  There is no such thing as a "gateway" drug, it is just another way of creating "Reefer Madness" what a joke.  I have watched a lot of Intervention and every person on there was abused or traumatized at some point in their life, which facilitated their addictions. 

So back to the topic, medical marijuana should be dispensed at the pharmacy like everything else.  Those opposed to Medical use are selfish and ignorant.  I hope at some point they are denied the medication of their choice, because of ignorance.

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