Module 12: Marijuana, Hallucinogens, Inhalants, and Steroids

Ch. 2: Marijuana in the Community

This chapter extends our discussion of marijuana and the legislative control debates. The purpose of this chapter is to examine what occurs at the community level in terms of crime rates where medical marijuana dispensaries are permitted by law. This article is included because the social work perspective on substance use (and other issues) extends beyond individuals and addresses larger social systems (families, institutions, communities, and global society). The article is Freisthler, B., Ponicki, W.R., Gaidus, A., & Gruenewald, P.J. (2016). A micro-temporal geospatial analysis of medical marijuana dispensaries and crime in Long Beach, California. Addiction, 111, 1027-1035. You will read about the link between medical marijuana dispensaries and crime statistics (violent and property crimes). You should pay particular attention to the Abstract, Introduction, and Discussion sections of this piece—the other sections are of interest especially if you want to learn more about the methods used in geospatial research.

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Click here for a link to our Carmen course where you can locate the assigned pdf file(s) for this chapter. You will need to be logged into our Carmen course, select Module 12, and proceed to the Coursework area. Under the Readings heading you will find a box with links to the readings for relevant coursebook chapters. Don’t forget to return here in your coursebook to complete the remaining chapters and interactive activities.


Stop and Think sign

Based on what you learned in this reading,:

  1. How would you describe to your roommate or family member the relationship between the number and location of medical marijuana dispensaries and crime rates in the surrounding neighborhoods?
  2. What questions does this study leave you wondering about this topic?



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