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RAND Study Finds No Link Between Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Crime

Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 21st 2011 by THCFinder
Oakland, CA -- The RAND Corporation issued a report today dispelling the myth that there are inherent links between medial marijuana distribution centers and crime. The study on which the RAND report is based claims that crime was as much as 60 percent greater around medical marijuana dispensaries that had been shut down by the City of Los Angeles compared to those areas with open dispensaries. "[W]e found no evidence that medical marijuana dispensaries in general cause crime to rise," said Mireille Jacobson, the study’s lead author and a senior economist at RAND.
 
RAND's study, which challenges the common wisdom that medical marijuana dispensaries promote criminal activity, affirms the findings of patient advocates. "We have reached the same conclusions as RAND using a qualitative study of public officials with firsthand experience of how dispensaries reduce crime in their neighborhoods," said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country's leading medical marijuana advocacy group. "Unfortunately, law enforcement has largely ignored or refuted these findings."
 
According to a statement from RAND, the study "examined crime reports for the 10 days prior to and the 10 days following June 7, 2010, when the city of Los Angeles ordered more than 70 percent of the city’s 638 medical marijuana dispensaries to close." Researchers analyzed crime reports within a few blocks around dispensaries that closed and compared that to crime reports for neighborhoods where dispensaries remained open. In total, RAND said that "researchers examined 21 days of crime reports for 600 dispensaries in Los Angeles County -- 170 dispensaries remained open while 430 were ordered to close."
 
 

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Study: LA pot clinics shut down, crime went up

Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 21st 2011 by THCFinder

Dispensary shuts down, crime goes up...hmmm

LOS ANGELES - A new study released Tuesday showed that when hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries were closed last year in Los Angeles crime rates rose in surrounding neighborhoods, challenging claims made by law enforcement agencies that the storefronts are magnets for crime.
 
The report by the nonprofit RAND Corp. reviewed crime reports for the 10 days prior to and the 10 days after city officials shuttered the clinics last summer after a new ordinance went into effect. The analysis revealed that crime increased about 60 percent within three blocks of a closed dispensary compared to the same parameters for those that remained open.
 
"If medical marijuana dispensaries are causing crime, then there should be a drop in crime when they close," said Mireille Jacobson, a RAND senior economist and the study's lead author. "Individual dispensaries may attract crime or create a neighborhood nuisance, but we found no evidence that medical marijuana dispensaries in general cause crime to rise."
 
Crime was among the concerns that prompted the City Council to pass the ordinance that put strict guidelines on the pot clinics and forced many of them to close. Law enforcement authorities have long argued collectives attract crime because they often handle large amounts of cash and thieves can resell marijuana.
 
Two workers at different dispensaries were killed during robberies in June 2010.
 
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca went one step further last September when he said nearly all dispensaries operate as criminal enterprises, a claim that infuriated medical marijuana supporters who have said law enforcement officials have resorted to scare tactics to advance their agenda.
 
"They have perpetuated this myth that there is more crime associated with collectives," said James Shaw of the Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, an advocacy group for medicinal marijuana users. "This council should be emboldened to revise the ordinance so it's not so draconian to the patients and their associations."
 
Researchers looked at crime reports for 600 dispensaries in Los Angeles County — 170 that remained open and 430 ordered to close. They found that the further away from the clinics the less crime there was: within six blocks of a closed dispensary crime rose by 25 percent and by 10 blocks there was no perceptible change in crime.
 

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Cops Arrest Roughly 90 People an Hour for Marijuana PossessioN

Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 20th 2011 by THCFinder
Marijuana users are still being arrested in record numbers every single day!
 
�It's hard sometimes to get a handle on raw numbers, likr the large figures dished out by the U.S. Census and other fact-issuing agencies.
 
The FBI's annual Crime in the United States is a good example. To say that 13.1 million people out of a population of 308 million were arrested is nebulous; so, too, is to say that the highest number of arrests -- 1,638,846 -- were for drug-abuse violations.
 
Digging deeper, 52 percent of the drug-abuse violators were arrested on marijuana offenses, and 88 percent of them, or 750,591, were jailed for simple possession. 
 
In other words, every hour, more than 90 people are arrested for possessing cannabis in the United States, among the highest totals on record. 
Marijuana-related arrests have been rising steadily since 1992's 300,000 busts, or 33 per hour, according to NORML. And even then, there are still far fewer Americans arrested for marijuana than for driving under the influence (1.4 million) and simple theft (1.2 million).
 
But marijuana users are by far the most arrested -- and it's users, not dealers or distributors, who serve the time. About 82 percent of drug arrests were for possession -- and more marijuana growers and dealers (6.3 percent) are arrested than heroin or cocaine sellers, who make up 6.2 percent of the total, according to the report.
 
 

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Banks Caught in the Medical Marijuana Meltdown

Category: News | Posted on Mon, September, 19th 2011 by THCFinder

In another wishy-washy battle the federal government is going back on its word once again. At the forefront this ongoing battle against the federal government are the dispensary and collective owners who have put everything on the line so the rest of us can have access to great, reasonably priced medicine.  The banks are caught in the crossfire, they want to help the communities and surrounding businesses however the Federal government is threatening them with legal action if they do so. 

 

The recent banking issues have not hit California as hard as other markets. “In California the banking problem doesn’t seem to be as bad; their dispensaries may not be regulated as much and they are more profitable.” While this doesn’t sound like an issue affecting all patients it will affect any patients who enjoy the luxury of paying for their meds with a credit card. Colorado Democratic Congressman Jared Polis has entered legislation that would remove the need for dispensaries to report their activities to the federal government, hopefully putting an end to some of the struggles we are still going through.

Source Here.


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Gov. Nixon's son cited for marijuana possession

Category: News | Posted on Thu, September, 15th 2011 by THCFinder
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The 21-year-old son of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has been cited for marijuana possession.
 
KRCG-TV reports (http://bit.ly/q4v8fa ) that Willson Nixon was cited early Saturday for possession of less than 35 grams of marijuana after police were called to investigate complaints of a loud party at a Columbia apartment complex.
 
Columbia police spokeswoman Jill Wieneke said Monday that officers looked in an open apartment doorway and saw a bag of marijuana on the table. She says a young man later identified as Willson Nixon attempted to conceal the marijuana.
 
The governor issued a statement Monday calling his son "a fine young man" and the marijuana citation "a private matter that will be handled through the municipal process."
 
Online records show Willson Nixon is a junior at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
 

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Free marijuana for votes? State charges dispensary owner with violating election law

Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 13th 2011 by THCFinder
A marijuana dispensary owner accused of offering free marijuana to citizens who registered to vote a certain way has been charged with violating Michigan election law.
 
Shekina Pena, 34, owner of Lansing-based Your Healthy Choice Clinic, has been charged with one count of Election Law-Influencing Voters with Money Or Other Valuable Consideration.
 
“Voters did not intend for marijuana to be handed out as a door prize, especially when it undermines the integrity of our elections process,” said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who joined with Secretary of State Ruth Johnson in announcing the charge.
 
“Secretary of State Johnson and I will work to ensure that Michigan election law is followed.”
 
The Attorney General’s office’s investigation revealed that Pena’s dispensary is accused of offering free marijuana in exchange for citizens registering to vote on July 27.
 
The dispensary is accused of encouraging the newly registered voters to support a certain slate of candidates running for Lansing City Council based on their position regarding regulation of marijuana dispensaries, including the one owned by Pena.
 
Michigan Election Law prohibits the provision of anything of value in order to induce or influence the manner of voting (MCL 168.931(1)(a)). Such violations are misdemeanors punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.
 
 

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