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Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Not Necessarily Linked to Crime, Study Finds

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Neighborhoods with medical marijuana shops don't necessarily have more crime.  

At least that's what researchers found using Sacramento data from 2009.
The study's co-author Dr. Bridget Freisthler says she hopes to shed light on some policy questions around the controversial dispensaries.

FREISTHLER: "If we limit the density of dispensaries, or if we ban them, are we really going to see changes in crime rates, are we going to see changes in marijuana abuse and dependence."

The study findings are not comprehensive. They're based on a snapshot of one city in one year. And Freisthler says it'll take more research to understand how dispensaries affect neighborhoods over time.  

FREISTHLER: "The question everybody really wants to know is, do these dispensaries increase crime rates? And this particular study doesn't answer that particular question."

Freisthler has funding to research that question, and plans to release more findings in the next year.
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