Welcome to SN&R’s weekly 420!
Right-leaning, defense policy think tank the RAND Corporation chimed in on marijuana in California again last week, releasing a report that dispels the myth that medical-pot collectives contribute to increased crime in neighborhoods.
RAND focused on Los Angeles and in areas where collectives once operated but were forced to shut down due to the city’s ordinance. The city has claimed that crime is 60 percent greater in neighborhoods that house dispensaries. But RAND senior economist Mireille Jacobson says she found “no evidence that medical marijuana dispensaries in general cause cime to rise.”
Here in Sacramento, a similar ideological rift exists between the city and county. County Sheriff Scott Jones, for instance, has gone on the record stating that medical-cannabis clubs are a detriment to neighborhoods and incite “quality of life crimes.” Meanwhile, the Sacramento Police Department says the clubs do not spur crime, nor have they received an uptick in resident complaints about its 39 registered clubs.
As a result, the city adopted a dispensary ordinance last year and now taxes all dispensaries at 4 percent, this on top of sales tax. The county, however, has allocated $1.1 million in funds to ramp up enforcement against dispensaries—forcing many, including popular collective One Solution on Madison Avenue, to close their doors.