Rand has pulled the well publicized study for “review” after the LA city attorney and other officials demanded its retraction, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The nonprofit think tank has removed the study from its website as of Tuesday night. The study concluded crime increased near medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles after they were closed down.
Warren Robak, a spokesman for Rand Corp., says the group is reviewing the study released last month and has removed it from circulation.
The Los Angeles city attorney’s office claimed the report’s findings are “deeply flawed” and demanded a retraction.
“I can just say that a review is ongoing,” RAND spokesman Warren Robak said.
RAND’s study, which challenges the common wisdom that medical marijuana dispensaries promote criminal activity, affirms the findings of patient advocates.
“We have reached the same conclusions as RAND using a qualitative study of public officials with firsthand experience of how dispensaries reduce crime in their neighborhoods,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy group. “Unfortunately, law enforcement has largely ignored or refuted these findings.”
According to a statement from RAND, the study “examined crime reports for the 10 days prior to and the 10 days following June 7, 2010, when the city of Los Angeles ordered more than 70 percent of the city’s 638 medical marijuana dispensaries to close.” Researchers analyzed crime reports within a few blocks around dispensaries that closed and compared that to crime reports for neighborhoods where dispensaries remained open. In total, RAND said that “researchers examined 21 days of crime reports for 600 dispensaries in Los Angeles County – 170 dispensaries remained open while 430 were ordered to close.
The analysis concluded crime increased about 60 percent within three blocks of a closed dispensary compared with those that remained open.
Score one for censorship I guess.