In 1996, California was the first state to pass a Compassionate Use Act which allowed for the legal use of cannabis for medicinal or medical purposes. Despite leading the way for the use of cannabis in the treatment of many chronic disorders, little systematic research has been conducted that has examined how the opening and closing of these dispensaries change the ecological landscape of the neighborhoods in which they are located. The current application takes advantage of a natural experiment occurring in Los Angeles and Sacramento Cities to assess how both the growth of and subsequent reduction in these dispensaries has resulted in changes in crime and cannabis use and dependence over a thirteen-year period. The proposed research will examine the relationship between the density and location of these dispensaries, prices of marijuana and related products, and crime in multiple contexts. Further, use of portal surveys will enable us to understand the distance to which clients travel to obtain cannabis and the types of clients who use different dispensaries.
Five specific aims will be tested: (1) Examine whether the density of cannabis dispensaries is related to increases in rates of violent and property crimes;(2) Examine whether the changing density of cannabis dispensaries is related to similar changes in rates of cannabis dependence and abuse;(3) Determine whether or not neighborhood characteristics (including location and density of other dispensaries) are related to price differences across dispensaries;(4) Investigate whether or not there is greater clustering by patron characteristics consistent with niche theory in high density areas;and (5) Determine whether or not patterns of medical cannabis use correspond to overall health levels and/or diagnosis of medical cannabis patients.
The aim of this study is to understand how regulations designed to reduce densities of cannabis dispensaries affects crime and use and to determine whether types of medical cannabis users cluster in dispensaries within communities, and whether clustering is increased in areas with many dispensaries, leading to increased problems. The short-term goal of the proposed research is to provide information about clients who use dispensaries, characteristics of the dispensaries themselves, and their relationship to crime and cannabis abuse and dependence. The long-term goal is to provide communities with specific guidance to regulatory processes that may ameliorate neighborhood problems related to cannabis dispensaries.
|Freisthler, Bridget; Ponicki, William R; Gaidus, Andrew et al. (2016) A micro-temporal geospatial analysis of medical marijuana dispensaries and crime in Long Beach, California. Addiction 111:1027-35|
|Kepple, Nancy Jo; Mulholland, Elycia; Freisthler, Bridget et al. (2016) Correlates of Amount Spent on Marijuana Buds During a Discrete Purchase at Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: Results from a Pilot Study. J Psychoactive Drugs 48:50-5|
|Thomas, Crystal; Freisthler, Bridget (2016) Examining the locations of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles. Drug Alcohol Rev 35:334-7|
|Thomas, Crystal; Freisthler, Bridget (2016) Assessing Sample Bias among Venue-Based Respondents at Medical Marijuana Dispensaries. J Psychoactive Drugs 48:56-62|
|Freisthler, Bridget; Gruenewald, Paul J; Wolf, Jennifer Price (2015) Examining the relationship between marijuana use, medical marijuana dispensaries, and abusive and neglectful parenting. Child Abuse Negl 48:170-8|
|Mair, Christina; Freisthler, Bridget; Ponicki, William R et al. (2015) The impacts of marijuana dispensary density and neighborhood ecology on marijuana abuse and dependence. Drug Alcohol Depend 154:111-6|
|Freisthler, Bridget; Gruenewald, Paul J (2014) Examining the relationship between the physical availability of medical marijuana and marijuana use across fifty California cities. Drug Alcohol Depend 143:244-50|
|Lipperman-Kreda, Sharon; Lee, Juliet P; Morrison, Chris et al. (2014) Availability of tobacco products associated with use of marijuana cigars (blunts). Drug Alcohol Depend 134:337-42|
|Morrison, Chris; Gruenewald, Paul J; Freisthler, Bridget et al. (2014) The economic geography of medical cannabis dispensaries in California. Int J Drug Policy 25:508-15|
|Freisthler, Bridget; Kepple, Nancy J; Sims, Revel et al. (2013) Evaluating medical marijuana dispensary policies: spatial methods for the study of environmentally-based interventions. Am J Community Psychol 51:278-88|
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