Analysis: Denver pot shops’ robbery rate lower than banks’ |

Analysis: Denver pot shops’ robbery rate lower than banks’

John Ingold
The Denver Post

A Denver Police Department analysis estimates that medical- marijuana dispensaries in the city were robbed or burglarized at a lower rate last year than either banks or liquor stores.

The analysis – contained in a memo authored by Division Chief Tracie Keesee for Denver City Council members – finds that the projected robbery and burglary rate for storefront dispensaries in 2009 was on par with that of pharmacies.

The analysis is the first time Denver police have sought to compare crime at dispensaries with that at other businesses, and it represents a best-guess at a crime rate for the city’s rapidly evolving dispensary industry. Denver police spokesman John White said he didn’t want to speculate on the bigger meaning of the numbers until the department can do a more thorough analysis.

But the memo comes as welcome news to medical-marijuana advocates, who have sought to convince state and local officials that dispensaries are not crime magnets.

“It sounds anecdotally about right,” said Matt Brown, with the pro-dispensary group Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation. “. . . Occasionally they happen. (Dispensaries) are by no means immune to crime. But they’re far more manageable than some of the public outrage would lead you to believe.”

Police departments in other parts of the state – and in other states as well – have reported spikes in medical-marijuana-related crime coinciding with increases in the number of dispensaries in their communities.

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