Police Say Marijuana Shops Not Magnets For Crime

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Photo: Kevin Kreck/Colorado Springs Gazette
The Green House, a medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado Springs. Marijuana dispensaries don’t attract crime, according to the Colorado Springs Police Department.

‚ÄčColorado Springs police have yet to find a correlation between the city’s growing medical marijuana industry and increased crime, according to department spokesman Sgt. Darrin Abbinki. There’s no evidence that the industry, which has about 175 businesses in Colorado Springs, attracts robberies and break-ins, according to the cops.

In the 18-month period ending August 31, Colorado Springs police recorded 41 criminal incidents at medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations, according to Abbink, reports Jakob Rodgers of the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Of those, 33 were burglaries and six were robberies. In the other two cases, shops were vandalized.
By comparison, there were 797 robberies in businesses and houses in the 18-month period ending June 30, the most recent data set available for overall robbery rates. There were 4,825 burglaries of businesses and homes in the city during the same time frame.
The numbers don’t point to a higher crime rate among dispensaries, Abbink said. He added that more time is needed to collect information on the young industry.
“It’s all going to depend on what the person is looking to steal,” Abbink said. “I don’t think the data really supports (dispensaries) are more likely to be targeted at this point. There’s not really enough information yet.”
Abbink’s statements come as the Colorado Springs Planning Commission readies to vote this week on new zoning regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.
The proposed rules would keep dispensaries in industrial and commercial zones, as well as 400 feet from schools and drug treatment facilities.
If approved during the commission’s meeting Thursday, the issue would be sent to the City Council for a final vote.
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