Study: Marijuana Dispensaries Make Neighborhoods Safer

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Cannabis may be California’s largest cash crop, but dispensaries who sell the profitable plants haven’t always reaped their rewards.

“A while ago, when it was sort of the wild wild west of medical cannabis,” said Matt Z-Berg of River City Phoenix Dispensary in Sacramento.

Matt Z-Berg believes strict security regulations mandated for his, as well as the 3,000 dispensaries across the state, keeps criminals away.

“We’ve never had an incident,” he said.

Now a study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, backs him up.

Researchers at UC Irvine analyzed the impact of widespread dispensary closures in Los Angeles.

The findings?

“Neighborhoods without legal pot, go to pot.”

What’s more? Researchers say marijuana dispensaries reduce crime.

How? Security.

River City Phoenix considers itself Sacramento’s leading example. Patients are cleared through bullet proof glass, watched on one of 30 surveillance cameras, and surrounded by 24-hour armed guards.

“We actually own our own security guard company,” said Z-Berg.

What the UCI study didn’t look at is the impact of the industry’s cash-only system.

“If we could fully bank the cannabis industry, it would make everything much safer,” said Fiona Ma.

Chairwoman of the Board of Equalization Fiona Ma is still trying to come up with a banking solution for marijuana dispensaries.

We may be close to seeing recreational marijuana on the street, but California banks still don’t take pot customers.

“If they don’t have a bank account then these are just transacting in cash every day,” she said.

Creating crime or helping stop it?

“More safety to the community that you’re operating in,” said Z-Berg

More from Lemor Abrams
Comments

One Comment

  1. Wow, California’s drug dealer propaganda has reached a new low.
    Now they’re saying, a crackhouse is a *GOOD* thing to have as a neighbor.
    What kind of ridiculous bull-sheit is that.

    Pot shops are GHETTO. They bring DOWN property values.
    They are, and always will be, CRIME MAGNETS.

  2. Pot is an addictive, brain-destroying drug.
    Ever look at the sad, unemployed lives of a pothead, laugh as he forgets where put his car keys for the 20th time, hold your nose as his pot odor stinks up the room?
    Or the robberies, gun battles, and deals-gone-bad near dispensaries and grow sites?
    Or the pot dealer cash that greases the underground economy?
    Is that how you want your community to be known by?

    The same idiots who defend and use pot, are the same ones who blow their paychecks on the drug and then are three weeks late with the rent.
    Irresponsible losers trying to escape reality, that’s all they really are.

    1. Matt Aoeu says:

      “Now they’re saying, a crackhouse is a *GOOD* thing to have as a neighbor.”

      No one is talking about crack here except you, maybe because you’re smoking it. The only thing it shares in common with cannabis share is that they are both illegal. I suppose you think Tylenol and alcohol are the same since they’re both “legal” then. What a simple-minded dunce you are.

      “Pot is an addictive, brain-destroying drug.”

      Not only has pot been shown to be one of the least addictive substances overall, but it has even helped people quit hard drugs like heroin. Calling it “brain-destroying” is extremely hyperbolic at best, but really it’s just proven B.S.

      “Or the robberies, gun battles, and deals-gone-bad near dispensaries and grow sites?
      Or the pot dealer cash that greases the underground economy?”

      Firstly, the sky really isn’t falling like that. However when these problems do happen, they are CAUSED by prohibition, and SOLVED by legalization. Dispensaries are forced to work with cash only, because banks can’t do business with them, because cannabis is still illegal federally. There’s a reason no other business works that way: Having giant sums of cash sitting around is bound to make ANY business a target for crime. Also, it’s only the ILLEGAL, black-market weed that “greases the underground economy.” LEGAL cannabis funds local business owners, and is taxed to provide money for schools, drug treatment, and other government programs. Do you not even understand basic economics? How sad.

      “Ever look at the sad, unemployed lives of a pothead, laugh as he forgets where put his car keys for the 20th time, hold your nose as his pot odor stinks up the room?”
      “The same idiots who defend and use pot, are the same ones who blow their paychecks on the drug and then are three weeks late with the rent.
      Irresponsible losers trying to escape reality, that’s all they really are.”

      I try to be a very polite guy. However, if I ever saw you in person I’d be sure to blow my weed vapor directly into your face, just so I could laugh at YOUR inevitable emotional fit that would immediately follow. This right here is all you have to offer, a bunch of stereotypes you pull out your rear end to justify your hateful desire to lock anyone up who looks or acts different than you. Your attitude is absolutely disgusting. Please remove yourself from civil society, and go join some ooga-booga back-woods tribe where that kind of prejudiced, non-thinking mentality is welcome.

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