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New Study: Marijuana “Dispensaries Cause an Overall Reduction in Crime…”


A new study published in the journal Regional Science and Urban Economics shows that there’s a decrease in local crime rates where marijuana dispensaries are located. In Denver, for example, there has been a 19% decrease in crime per month.

Senior Economists affiliated with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said, “[A]n additional dispensary in a neighborhood leads to a reduction of 17 crimes per month per 10,000 residents, which corresponds to roughly a 19 percent decline relative to the average crime rate over the sample period,” NORML reported.

The study also shows a general decrease in non-violent crimes as well.  Studies conducted prior to this one have noticed the same trend – less crime where marijuana dispensaries operate. Cases of larceny, in particular, have notably decreased.

“Overall, our results suggest that dispensaries cause an overall reduction in crime in neighborhoods, with no evidence of spillovers to surrounding neighborhoods,” said the study’s authors. “… Our results are consistent with theories that predict that marijuana legalization will displace illicit criminal organizations and decrease crime through changes in security behaviors or substitution toward more harmful substances… Lastly, there is no evidence that increased marijuana use itself results in additional crime.”

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