Monday, January 24, 2011

And the verdict is ...

Posted By on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Today, the Denver Post reports that medical marijuana has done ... something to the crime rate in Denver. One detective says the city is seeing an increase in dispensary-related crime, but this only makes sense — just like more banks would lead to more bank-related crime. And conversely, a Post study shows that some neighborhoods with a higher concentration of MMJ centers are seeing less crime.

So how are things in our neighborhood?

Sgt. Steve Noblitt, a Colorado Springs police spokesman, said comparing neighborhood crime pre- and post-dispensary is complicated. Because crime rates fluctuate all the time for many reasons, what should police departments use as a baseline for assessing dispensaries' impact?

"We haven't done an analysis," Noblitt said, "because we don't know what to compare it to."

The 46 medical-marijuana-related burglaries Colorado Springs police responded to between January 2009 and November were a small fraction of the total burglaries police handled in that time. The only crime at a business near a Colorado Springs dispensary that police can definitively tie to the dispensary, he said, was an incident in which burglars busted into an adjacent building to dig into the dispensary next door.

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