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Study Showing Crime Increase Around Shuttered Dispensaries Removed From Website After City Attorney Demanded It

Snoop OG Kush medical marijuana (Photo by Michael Zampelli via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr)
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A controversial study showing that crime actually increased in the neighborhoods around shuttered dispensaries has been yanked from the the website of the think tank that commissioned the study.

"As we've begun to take a look at the report, we decided it's best to remove it from circulation until that review is complete," Warren Robak, a spokesman for the Rand Corporation, told the Los Angeles Times.

The study looked at crime reports in a 3-block radius in the 10 days before many city clinics were shut down on June 7, 2010 and in the 10 days after. It compared the crime reports of clinics that remained open to those that shuttered. Mireille Jacobson, the study's lead author and a senior economist at RAND found that there was 59 percent more crime around shuttered dispensaries than ones that stayed open.

At the time Jacobson admitted that the study was only a snapshot, that there was a wide margin of error and that a longer study would be necessary to untangle why her study showed such a massive increase in crime.

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But the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office was worried about her study, since it has been arguing that dispensaries actually increase crime. Jane Usher, a special assistant city attorney, and Asha Greenberg, an assistant city attorney, demanded "the immediate retraction" of the Rand study. "Until you publicly retract your work, we expect the Rand publication to be referenced nationwide, at incalculable avoidable harm to public health and safety," they wrote in a letter to Jacobson.

Robak admitted to the Times that it was the city attorney's office who were the biggest critics of the study. Rand has yanked the study down from its website, while it reviews the matter internally.

Jacobson might have another chance to review how shuttered shops affect the economy, as the feds start to crack down on them.

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