Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Retracting a study doesn’t mean its conclusion is false « Drug WarRant

Retracting a study doesn’t mean its conclusion is false « Drug WarRant: "Remember the RAND study that found that crime increased in areas after medical marijuana dispensaries were shut down? RAND made no causality claims, only correlation, yet the results enraged certain political entities, most notably the L.A. city attorney’s office.

After a lot of pressure, RAND retracted the study. In their news release, they said that the reason they voluntarily retracted it was that they “determined the crime data used in the analysis are insufficient to answer the questions targeted by the study.”

They did not find contradictory information, or any reason to necessarily doubt the findings, but rather decided that the amount of data was insufficient to make the conclusions solely based on that data. They claimed they intended to redo the study with more data, but we’ve heard nothing since.

What’s interesting, of course (though not at all surprising) is the way the retraction has been seen by some as a kind of proof that the findings were false – that, in fact, the closing of dispensaries were not followed by an increase in crime."

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