Medical marijuana: RAND Corp. pulls study showing dispensaries reduce crime

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Last month, we reported on a study from the RAND Corp. that showed marijuana clinics in Los Angeles and Colorado actually weren't causing higher crime rates in surrounding neighborhoods, despite the mistaken perception among many members of the public that they were.

But the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office didn't agree with the science, and RAND has since pulled the report due to its objections.

Our good friend Steve Elliot over at our sister blog, Toke of the Town, called up RAND, and Warren Robak, from the company's media-relations department, told him, "We took a fresh look at the study based in part upon questions raised by some folks following publication," responded Warren Robak of RAND Corporation's media relations department."

But later, after Elliot grilled him on the issue, Robak admitted that the pressure was mostly from one group. "'The L.A. City Attorney's Office has been the organization most vocal in its criticism of the study, questioning its methods and conclusions," he said.

At that point, Elliot wrote, "Why, exactly, a city attorney should have input on the results of a scientific study is a question we should all be asking at this point."

I agree -- especially considering that the study also included anecdotal reports from Colorado law enforcement backing up its findings. The data shows that while dispensary crime does happen, someone in Denver is more likely to be involved in a bank robbery than a medical pot-shop stick-up.

Read Elliot's full report on Toke of the Town.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical Marijuana Industry Group decries feds' Cali crackdown, touts Colorado regs (VIDEO)."

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