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The causes of crime is a very difficult subject to study, so we should always skeptical when a study comes out showing something new.  Methodology should be probed and results confirmed by other studies before we make policy decisions based on any study.  But something unusual has happened with regard to RAND's surprising result that neighborhood crime went up when marijuana dispensaries were closed.  AP reports:

A nonprofit think tank has removed a study from its website that said crime increased near medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles after they were closed.

Warren Robak, a spokesman for Santa Monica-based Rand Corp., says the organization is reviewing the study released last month and has removed it from circulation.

The Los Angeles city attorney's office had said the report's findings were deeply flawed and demanded a retraction.

The study, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, looked at crime reports in the 10 days before and after Los Angeles officials shuttered the pot clinics last summer after a new ordinance went into effect. The analysis showed crime increased about 60 percent within three blocks of a closed dispensary compared with those that remained open.

RAND is a far better source of studies on crime than agenda-driven outfits such as the Sentencing Project.  If there are problems with the study, it is to their credit that they have withdrawn it for revision.  Upon review, it may very well come to the same conclusion.  But this incident sounds one more note of caution about pouncing on what "studies show."

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