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Colorado: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Not Associated With Increased Crime

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Denver, CO: An analysis of Denver crime statistics for 2010 contradicts claims that the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries are associated with elevated incidences of criminal activity.

According to a Denver Post story published this week: "A Denver police analysis completed late last year of areas around dispensaries showed that the number of crimes in those pockets dropped in the first nine months of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009. The drop, 8.2 percent, was marginally less than the city's overall drop in crime of 8.8 percent, according to police."

A separate Denver Post analysis of citywide crime crimes committed in the first 11 months of 2010 found that "some Denver neighborhoods with the highest concentration of dispensaries per capita saw a bigger decrease in crimes than did some neighborhoods with no dispensaries."

Over 800 state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries presently operate in Colorado. The highest concentration of these facilities is in Denver.

Previous analyses have also failed to find any association between the proliferation of medical cannabis dispensaries and elevated crime rates. For example, a 2010 review by the Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper reported, "[P]olice have yet to find a correlation between the city's approximately 175 pot shops and increased crime."

A similar 2009 review of Los Angeles crime data also failed to establish a positive link between medical marijuana facilities and crime.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at: (202) 483-5500.





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