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Next Post reports that “one man was killed and another wounded in a shooting Thursday afternoon at a medical marijuana dispensary in Echo Park [above]. Hours later, another fatal shooting was reported at a clinic in Hollywood. Police are not saying if the two shootings are related.” Call me an amateur sleuth, but when I hear that two marijuana “clinics” are robbed on the same day, I’m thinking there must be some kind of connection. But what? While you wrestle with that one, I’d like to point out that legalizing dope is a recipe for a big ass surge in gun crime. (John Lott stats to follow. Not.) As someone who runs a security business on the side, I can tell you there are a lot of naive people getting into the dope business. Naive as in wearing a big fat target on their chest with the words “Rob me” written below—in ink they can’t see . . .

A referral: “He’s opening medical marijuana clinics, and he wants to harden his home.” Sensible enough, right? “He’s going to keep the supplies in the basement.” To quote Brian, wait. What? No. There isn’t a street dealer in the world who wouldn’t store his main stash off-site. To quote a less salubrious acquaintance, YOU try sleeping with that shit in YOUR house. Uh, no thanks.

Have you seen these new-style dope clinics or heard these New Age growers?

First, like Cribs, this video is a major security breach. Clever robbers—and yes, there are a few—can study the clinic’s interior layout at their leisure. I shoot him here. Take that one hostage there.

Second, security precautions are only obvious by their absence. Rent-a-cops? None. Security doors? Nope. Exterior windows (so people can see what’s going on inside, including the police)? Uh-uh. Panic buttons? Don’t see any. Odds that Mr. Man has a gun? How low can you go?

And then there are the amateur growers. Motivated by altruism and/or the desire for some killer weed, they don’t seem to understand that drugs and crime go together like a horse and carriage. But—it’s legal! Have you seen the security at an OxyContin factory? Neither have I. And that’s just the way the drug maker wants it. But I’m sure it’s as tight as a gnat’s asshole.

Of course, Darwin. It’s only a matter of time before marijuana clinics realize that—OMG!—they’re soft targets for hardened criminals. The ones that don’t will die.

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  1. I don't live in LA, but we have the same thing going on here in Colorado. In Denver there are mandatory security precautions you must have in place at a dispensary to get a license. Most all have a bullet proof entry way, where you are buzzed in only after having your ID and Marijuana card copied/scanned. There are always cameras. There are sometimes guards. Always bars and alarms.

    I know in LA a lot of them have armed guards.

    Even with all of that though, I would be worried someone would get you on your way to the car, or the way home, or on the way to work. It's too easy, and too hard to prevent. A lot of these stores keep large amounts of cash on hand just as a byproduct of the business they are in, and so make very desirable targets.

  2. This sort of quasi-legal status isn't representative of how full legalization would go. If any adult could buy recreational drugs at a carryout at a free market price (including taxes similar to cigarettes or alcohol) the price would be low enough that there would be no particular incentive to rob that store–and likely lower overall robberies, since the druggies wouldn't need as much to finance their habits.

    Note that I'm not proposing this out of compassion for drug addicts–I think it likely that we will trade a reduction in property crime for more addicts dying of overdose–I'm quite willing to make that trade.

    • Hmm, I've never heard of an overdose of marijuana.

      Not being much of a drinker and a non-smoker, I have mixed feelings about legalizing MJ. I read that the 60s product was fairly tame, but the modern strains have more THC, so it may be like comparing wine with hard liquor. My main objection had always been that the folks I knew who toked always seemed so apathetic, but the internet is full of folk claiming they are more creative and happier by using it.

      I suspect that drug interests are dead set against competing with a product that can be so easily grown at home, so I see a tough road against legalization.

      • You are right, not going to OD on pot. I was expanding the notion of legalization out to cover most (if not all) adult use of recreational drugs. Liberty includes the right to do things I think are really stupid, unless it harms or endangers someone else.

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