Looking at Crime and Pot in L.A.
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Looking at Crime and Pot in L.A.
Posted by CN Staff on October 25, 2011 at 03:37:14 PT
By Kerry Cavanaugh, Daily News Columnist 
Source: Los Angeles Daily News
California -- The RAND Corp. on Monday retracted its controversial -- and inaccurate -- study, which showed that crime increased after medical marijuana dispensaries closed and suggested that pot shops may actually deter illegal activities.The study raised eyebrows when it was released in September. It looked at crime reports for the 10 days before and after hundreds of dispensaries were ordered closed by the city of Los Angeles.
That seemed a small window of time to determine a crime trend. In addition, the study assumed all dispensaries actually closed when they were supposed to -- and many didn't.The City Attorney's Office, which has been defending Los Angeles' medical marijuana ordinance in court, complained the report relied on faulty assumptions and untested measurements.RAND heard those concerns, launched an internal review and discovered the authors relied on a crime mapping service that did not include Los Angeles Police Department crime data, according to RAND.Oops. RAND is now redoing the study.The report lives on, however, on the Internet where dozens of stories detail the crime-reducing effects of dispensaries.Before it was retracted, dispensary operators tried to use the study as evidence to overturn L.A.'s dispensary regulations in court. If collectives don't attract crime, why does the city need to curtail them?But the report didn't sway the Los Angeles Superior Court judge and he upheld the city's law limiting and regulating dispensaries, said Jane Usher, special assistant to City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.RAND's leadership called the study a "rare failure of our peer review system," and the nonprofit committed to posting the results of the revised study, no matter what it concludes.It's surprising that a respected research group would allow the release of a study that seemed so flawed. But, then nothing involving medical marijuana should surprise us anymore.California's 15-year experiment with medical marijuana is full of mistakes and confusion -- many unfolding before our eyes.Even as the city of L.A. was celebrating the Superior Court's decision to uphold its dispensary rules, a recent appellate court decision has thrown into question whether cities can even permit dispensaries because marijuana is illegal under federal law.The result, Usher said, is that many cities may end up just banning dispensaries until the courts figure out how to reconcile California's vote to allow marijuana for medicinal use and the federal government's prohibition on pot.The RAND study and the question of whether pot shops create or deter crime may ultimately be irrelevant to the fate of medical marijuana dispensaries.Source: Los Angeles Daily News (CA)Author: Kerry Cavanaugh, Daily News Columnist Published: October 25, 2011Copyright: 2011 Los Angeles Newspaper GroupWebsite: http://www.dailynews.comContact: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on October 25, 2011 at 15:30:27 PT
You're forgiven.:0)
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Comment #2 posted by Vincent on October 25, 2011 at 12:24:21 PT:
Forgive me. I just made a terrible mistake in m,y last post. I mistook, stupidly I might add, the LA Times editorial with the infantile opinions from the Los Angeles Daily News, which always has been and always will be, an ignorant rag! This, of course, doesn't let the Times off the hook, since their editorial board saw fit to criticize the initiative to legalize Marijuana last November. But from the (lack of) style of the LA Daily News editorial, I should've known.
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Comment #1 posted by Vincent on October 25, 2011 at 12:15:29 PT:
LA Times
Good afternoon, fellow herbo-philes! Back in the Eighties, I used to live in los Angeles and I used to read the LA Times, especially the Op-Ed sections. They were always reliably liberal (true). However, this is the second article from that paper, in as many weeks, that seem like it was written by Rush Limbaugh. What the hell happened to that newspapre? I remember when they wer just like the New York Times. Now, that's a newspaper!
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