In a rare move for a highly regarded research institutions, Rand Corp. retracted a controversial report on crime around Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries after realizing that it failed to include any crimes reported by the city’s Police Department, reports the Los Angeles Times. Rand researchers used crime data compiled by a firm that collects information from about 1,200 law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, but not the city.
“They made mistakes,” said Debra Knopman, a Rand vice president. “What we’re wrestling with is how the mistakes went undetected.” The extraordinary lapse has the esteemed institution closely examining how it reviews its research. The discredited report went through an internal and an external peer review. The study of crime data near dispensaries published last month led Rand researchers to suggest that the stores, which usually have guards and surveillance cameras, may help reduce crime in their neighborhoods.