|Crime rates at Denver dispensaries are only half that at banks, lower than at liquor stores, and equal to that at pharmacies, according to a police study|
A Denver Police Department analysis says that medical marijuana dispensaries in the city were robbed or burglarized at a lower rate last year than either banks or liquor stores, reports John Ingold at The Denver Post.
According to the analysis, in a memo authored by Division Chief Tracie Keesee for Denver City Council members, the robbery and burglary rate for dispensaries in 2009 was equivalent to that of pharmacies.
This is the first time Denver police have compared crime at dispensaries with crime at other businesses. Police spokesman John White declined to speculate on the bigger meaning of the numbers until the department can do a more thorough analysis.
|Matt Brown of CMMR: “It sounds anecdotally about right”|
The police analysis comes as welcome news to medical marijuana advocates, who have fought the oft-repeated, but never proven, assertion that dispensaries are magnets for crime.
“It sounds anecdotally about right,” said Matt Brown of Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation (CMMR).
Police departments in other parts of Colorado, as well as in other states, have claimed spikes in crime rates coinciding with proliferating dispensaries, but never seem to have the numbers to back that up.
The projected 16.8 percent burglary and robbery rate for marijuana dispensaries is equal to that of pharmacies. It’s lower than the 19.7 percent rate for liquor stores and the 33.7 percent rate for banks, according to the analysis.