Do medical marijuana centers behave like locally undesirable land uses? Implications for the geography of health and environmental justice

Boggess, Lyndsay, Perez, Deanna, Cope, Kathryn, Root, Carl and Stretesky, Paul (2014) Do medical marijuana centers behave like locally undesirable land uses? Implications for the geography of health and environmental justice. Urban Geography, 35 (2). pp. 315-336. ISSN 0272-3638

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02723638.2014.881018

Abstract

As of 2013, medical marijuana is legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia, but few studies have investigated the consequences of the retail centers that sell the drug. We draw upon the social construction literature to frame our research and help us determine whether medical marijuana centers in Denver, Colorado (USA) are considered locally undesirable land uses (LULUs). The geography of health and environmental justice frameworks lead us to hypothesize that marijuana centers are more likely to be opened in Hispanic, Black, and poor neighborhoods than in White and affluent neighborhoods. We also hypothesize that marijuana centers will tend to increase the minority composition and poverty of the neighborhoods in which they are located. Contrary to expectations we find no empirical support for these two hypotheses. Instead, results suggest marijuana centers are likely to be situated in neighborhoods with higher crime rates and more retail employment. Thus, despite the view by many planners and law enforcement officials that these centers are problematic, they do not take on LULU characteristics in siting and demographic changes. This finding, while limited to Denver, has important implications for policymakers who are considering similar marijuana policies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: medical marijuana, environmental justice, minority, poverty, inequality
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L400 Social Policy
L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Social Sciences & Languages
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Paul Stretesky
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2015 10:52
Last Modified: 08 May 2017 11:14
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/21456

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