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40 Arrested, 7 Long Beach Pot Dispensaries Raided

Marijuana growing and/or sales has been illegal in the ciity since Aug. 12, 2012 and a sweep by police, federal law and county law enforcement and prosecutors

Seven marijuana dispensaries in Long Beach were closed Wednesday and 40 people arrested during a multi-agency raid in which search warrants allegedly produced pot, currency and sales equipment.

It was not immediately known if the suspects remained jailed, nor where, after they were taken into custody for owning or operating a marijuana dispensary. Because names were not released by Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman Nancy Pratt, there was no way of readily checking whether the 40 arrested remained in custody.

Pratt said photos of the seized evidence would be provided to the public on Thursday.

Pratt e-mailed a press release but was not immediately available for comment Wednesday night as to whether the 40 arrestees were in custody or whether bail was set.

According to Pratt's news release, the raids were carried out at establishments that had allegedly received the most complaints from the surrounding neighborhood. Search warrants for the locations had been obtained and were the basis for the raids and seizure of property.

The case termed an "enforcement" was carried out, Pratt wrote, "with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the State of California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the Long Beach Fire Department, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, that shut down seven marijuana dispensaries located throughout the City of Long Beach."

The full release follows:

Effective, August 12, 2012, any dispensary that continues conducting business in the City of Long Beach is operating illegally.  

The seven dispensaries that were targeted were those that the Police Department had received the highest level of complaints for from the community.  During the operation, over 40 individuals were taken into custody and booked for owning/operating a marijuana dispensary.  Marijuana plants, processed marijuana, currency, and other evidence were seized.  Each of these businesses will be forwarded to the Business Licensing Section for review.  Additionally, three of the seven locations were also "red tagged" by the Long Beach Fire Department for posing immediate life-safety hazards.  Anyone caught entering these locations will be arrested for trespassing.  

The L.B.P.D. was originally planning to serve a search warrant at an eighth location, located at 301 Atlantic Avenue, however, investigators recently received information that the operators had vacated the building and relocated.

The L.B.P.D. is strongly urging the remaining dispensaries to voluntarily cease their operations.  Any dispensary that continues to operate will be targeted for closure and those operating the business will be arrested.  

Today’s operation addressed the following locations:

745 E. 4th Street (dispensary site)
2130 Cowles Street (cultivation/dispensary site - red-tagged)
1581 W. Wardlow Road (cultivation/dispensary site - red-tagged)
1735 E. 7th Street (cultivation/dispensary site - red-tagged)
2508 E. 10th Street (dispensary site)
3748 Atlantic Avenue dispensary site)
5115 Atlantic Avenue (dispensary site)

Anyone wishing to report dispensaries that continue to operate should contact the Narcotics Section at (562) 570-7221.  Anonymous tips may be submitted via text or web by visiting www.tipsoft.com.

Mike Ruehle October 11, 2012 at 09:22 AM
Did the Medpot Dispensaries owned by politically connected John Morris (Legends Owner) or Kurt Schnieter (Bono's Owner) get busted or are they still protected by the Long Beach Police and City Hall?
John B. Greet October 11, 2012 at 11:06 AM
What a terrible disservice we have done to all of our legitmate medpot patients. First in completely ignoring these outlets that sprang up throughout our city for many years. Next in passing an enabling ordinance that only served to further compound the problem and lend our legitimate patients a false sense of security. Finally in repealing the enabling ordinance and now left with the daunting task of closing up all of these outlets that continue to spring up like weeds (sic) all around the city. The challenge with medpot exists in federal law and unless/until we address the problem where it resides, we are going to continue to see raids, searches, arrests, and legitimate patients left, once again, fending for themselves. Compassionate? Not much.
Luis October 11, 2012 at 01:29 PM
What a waste of resources, time and money.
Get Real October 11, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I agree John - the city has bungled this issue from the beginning. However, I don't share your concern about legitimate medpot users. I suspect that the number of legitimate patients is several orders of magnitude smaller than the number of people who use the dispenseries because they want to get high. Hopefully this action will serve to eliminate neighborhood nuisances. Legitimate users still have plenty of options.
KE Briscoe October 11, 2012 at 03:37 PM
People have been buying and consuming marijuana for what over 50 years? It's not going away. Why does the Long Beach City Council not recognize the needs of its citizens and instead continutes to support the drug cartels and other illegal marijuana drug trafficking? Such a waste of time and money. I've been to the Council meetings. I've watched and its apparent they could care less about the people of Long Beach.
Watts October 11, 2012 at 05:24 PM
At least one dispensary has closed voluntarily for the time being, probably out of fear of what might happen. I know that they are one of the original batch that the city has continued to identify as being safe. So this threat that lingers out there is now turning into intimidation against the legitimate operators. I had an email passed to me from one of their patients and while I won't identify the dispensary nor the content of the email that is specific to them, I will pass on the closing part because it includes some contact information that some reading this may not already have. Here is that content... OUR CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS AND CITY ATTORNEY WERE VOTED IN BY YOU, CALL THEM AND LET THEM KNOW HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT SAFE ACCESS TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA. THE CITY HAS FAILED YOU AND IT IS TIME TO STAND UP AND THREATEN TO VOTE THESE OFFICIALS OUT. PLEASE CONTACT EVERY PERSON LISTED AND VOICE YOUR DISPLEASURE WITH HOW THEY ARE SERVING THE CITY OF LONG BEACH. Mayor Bob Foster: (562) 570-6801 City Attorney Robert Shannon: (562) 570-2200 District 1: Robert Garcia: (562) 570-6919 District 2: Suja Lowenthal: (562) 570-6684 District 3: Gary DeLonge: (562) 570-6300, (562) 570-8756 District 4: Patrick O’Donnell: (562) 570-6918 District 5: Gerry Schipske: (562) 570-6932 District 6: Dee Andrews: (562) 570-6816 District 7: James Johnson: (562) 570-7777 District 8: Al Austin: (562) 570-6685 District 9: Steven Neal: (562) 570-6137
Mike Ruehle October 11, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Less than 1% of eligible Long Beach voters actually cast a ballot. Them knowing this, do you actually think our city council would feel at all threatened? Our city council acts with impunity because they know voters talk loudly for a couple days and then melt off into oblivion. It's been that way for years. That's why Long Beach has the council they deserve and the shady reputation it deserves.
Norman Wilson October 11, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Let the courts decide. That said, marijuna for sick people makes sense. Long Beach has a right to close any dispesary. The is marijuana is here & it's not going anywhere. The city can waste it's time, money & resources all it wants. The court has thrown out the Pack decision. The California Supreme Court will make a ruling & we will have to live with it. Meanwhile, all those on the city council Long Beach that voted for the ban, have opened pandora's box. They are going to have to deal with it. Stop closing the ones that are not issues or real law breakers. Let people get safe access to their meds. This is not a red or blue issue.
Norm Wool October 11, 2012 at 07:47 PM
John your right. The Federal govt. has got reclassify marijuana to a schedule 2 classification. That said, marijuana isn't going away & if patients can't acess it they will go to the streets to get it. I looked @ the stats & it's been a waste of time, money & resources. 9.2 billion is spent on enforcing the federal laws each year. That's not counting local enforcements financial stake. The Pack decision has been thrown out on appeal. Our city council is waiting on the California Supreme Court. When it does rule, we all have to abide by it. I don't think we're on the right track on this. We better look to Colorado & Washington. It's going to be legalized. When the other states see the hemp boom plus tax revenue, other states will follow.
Barbie October 11, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Cannabis has been used by mankind for over 6,000 years. It was used by our Country's founding fathers. American production of hemp was encouraged by the government in the 17th century for the production of rope, sails, and clothing. We could be making fuel, plastic, building materials and paper from it. 95% of America's forests were destroyed needlessly. We could be burning clean fuel. It wasn't until the 1930's that America criminalized it. We have many years of government propaganda to overcome but we will do it. The trend is undeniable. The truth will be known. The war on drugs is a failure and continues to waste hard-earned tax dollars. Cannabis is a wonderful herb and will be restored to it's former glory. It is very relaxing and is beneficial to human health. It is great for chronic pain like mine. It is not addictive (unlike alcohol which is a very dangerous legal substance). If prohibition didn't work for a dangerous substance like alcohol; it will not work with Cannabis. I will be calling every name of the list. There is also a petition going around town to overturn the ban and to put a 4% sales tax on sales so we can create extra revenue for the city of Long Beach. Shutting down the dispensaries is not the answer (it's just pressing the easy button and avoiding the real task at hand). Why are you making all the dispensaries shut down when we know they will be open again one day? Another complete waste. Decide what the rules are and regulate them.
truth seeker October 12, 2012 at 01:35 AM
hey, "get real," please tell me what 'get high' means. i'm dying to hear your definition.
truth seeker October 12, 2012 at 01:38 AM
true, mike. also, i bet more than 1% of long beach voters use pot. so your council should feel threatened.
truth seeker October 12, 2012 at 01:40 AM
many sick people look perfectly healthy. crohn's, lupus, etc. furthermore, cannabis is not only for "sick" people. its also preventative medicine.
truth seeker October 12, 2012 at 02:13 AM
answer that question, "get real" and you might begin to see that your problem with cannabis is a personal one, but not backed up by science. in fact, if anyone can explain what getting high means, i'd love to hear it.
John B. Greet October 12, 2012 at 05:31 AM
"Decide what the rules are and regulate them." We decided what the rules were regarding marijuana and determined how to regulate it when we enacted the CSA back in the 70's. Our duly-elected California Congresspersons and Senators of the day voted to pass that piece of legislation and none of them since have seen fit to move marijuana off of Schedule 1. Amending the CSA or repealing it altogether is the only right and proper way to correct this ongoing challenge with marijuana. No State or local government should enact decriminalization statutes. Each time they are challenged in court, the Courts rule in favor of the supremacy of federal law on this question.
Mike Ruehle October 12, 2012 at 04:37 PM
You can read about city hall protection of medpot stores owned by John Morris (Legends Owner) and Belmont Shore Parking Commissioner Kurt Schnieder (Nick's Owner) at the following link. Meanwhile, their competitors are being prosecuted. Talk about corruption. http://www.ocweekly.com/2012-02-02/news/long-beach-medical-marijuana-lottery/
Mike Ruehle October 12, 2012 at 05:05 PM
My similar comment about Kurt Schneider and John Morris posted in the LB Post was published for 2-days but now has been censored. I wonder who pulled the strings on that one. Bet it was Mayor Foster who didn't want the light to shine on his little buddies. http://www.lbpost.com/news/2000001163-seven-dispensaries-targeted-in-lbpd-medpot-raids
Kurt Schneiter October 12, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Mr Ruehle once was a force in local Belmont Shore's Residence association, but even his supporters became tired of his mouth / keystrokes moving faster than his google searches. Please understand that I've never owned a pot dispensary or have any involvement with the operation of any pot dispensary. In addition, I’ve never been an owner of Bono’s, but instead a building that used to have Bono’s as a tenant. Your information is faulty and you are aware that this information is not true. Please stop with your personal attacks that only serve your over developed need for attention. Please move on and find a productive hobby.
Mike Ruehle October 12, 2012 at 10:05 PM
I have read no retraction by the OC Weekly linked above that identified KURT SCHNEITER as an owner of a medpot facility in LONG BEACH. Furthermore, besides owning the building, KURT BRAUN SCHNEITER'S name is listed as the LICENSEE on Bono's alcohol license # 394336 per the below link. http://www.abc.ca.gov/datport/LQSData.asp?ID=19425980 Any more lies you care to spew?
Kurt Schneiter October 12, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Ruehle: Just because a newspaper or other form of media puts something in writing, doesn't make it so. I have no ownership of anything to do with Medpot stores. If you find out otherwise, I'll split the profits. In regards to Bono's: When I held 17 community meetings prior to the redevelopment of the property that once held Bono's, I stated the following: I will retain ownership of the Liquor license to prevent any chance of this license being used as a college bar. It surprises me that you do not remember this especially since I made a presentation at the Belmont Shore Residence Association that specifically was held to reassure the residents that I would not allow a college bar. Please put this issue to rest, you are beating a dead horse with no apparent benefits. Mikey, you can dispute the facts all you want but you have no right to present your opinion as fact and to present statement that you know to be false. Shoddy journalism is rampant just like your ability to dig up dirt with no benefit to society.
Ken October 12, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Get a life - leave marijuana users alone. It is absurd that it is 2012 and MJ is still illegal... wow, shocker. Must be all the honesty from our politicians and DEA bureaucrats. Maybe we should start a movement to make alcohol illegal... take that all you "alcoholics"!
John B. Greet October 13, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Ruehle will, ever and always, believe what Ruehle believes. Only those facts which support his beliefs matter. All other facts are ignored or otherwise dismissed out of hand. If he has no facts to support his beliefs, he has proven more than willing and able to manufacture them. If someone challenges them, he attacks them. If they ultimately prove his beliefs wrong, he simply grows silent, and moves on to the next unfounded allegation, the next unsupported accusation. I have never once seen Ruehle admit to having made a mistake of fact or to willingly acknowledge whenever someone proves one of his many definitive condemnations false. I think, in the beginning, Ruehle actually served his BSRA membership well. Later, however, I think he stopped serving them and started serving himself instead. Perhaps that may well be why he is no longer a member of that organization, let alone its President, let alone even living in Belmont Shore. I actually agree with some of the things Ruehle seems to believe and some of the things for which he claims to advocate. However much I may agree with some of his stated beliefs and goals, however, I cannot agree with most of the methods he employs in his attempts to achieve them.
Mike Ruehle October 13, 2012 at 07:11 AM
If the OC Weekly article identifying KURT SCHNIETER as a Long Beach medpot dispensary owner was incorrect, why hasn't he asked the OC Weekly to retract what they said or sued the OC Weekly? We all know how law suit happy KURT SCHNEITER is. In fact, I rememeber well a Belmont Shore Resident's Association meeting at the Bayshore Library where KURT SCHNEITER threatended no less than 11 times to sue the BSRA Board of Directors because the BSRA had identified him as one of the main pushers for turning the Livingston Park Tot Lot Children's Playground into a parking lot for his Bono's restaurant customers. Maybe SCHNEITER can explain why he hasn't taken action against the OC Weekly if they are incorrect? http://www.ocweekly.com/2012-02-02/news/long-beach-medical-marijuana-lottery/ For those who want to know what KURT SCHNEITER looks like going into and out of medpot dispensaries, I've attached a link to an article with his picture in it. http://www.whittierdailynews.com/california/ci_16567697
Mike Ruehle October 17, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I have nominated Belmont Shore Parking Commissioner KURT SCHNEITER in the LBPost's survey of top 10 most powerful people in Long Beach for using his political connections at city hall to license his medpot facilites and focus police action on closing all of his competitors down. http://www.lbpost.com/news/2000001177-who-are-the-10-most-powerful-people-in-long-beach
John B. Greet October 17, 2012 at 07:01 PM
"Less than 1% of eligible Long Beach voters actually cast a ballot." Like so many of the comments Ruehle posts, this statement is false. According to the city clerk's office, in the last citywide election (2010) about 16% of registered Long Beach voters cast a vote for the office of Mayor. Extrapolating from 2010 Census data,11% of eligible Long Beach voters (residents over 18) cast a vote for Mayor. Voter turnout in Long Beach is abysmal, of that there can be no doubt, but it serves no constructive purpose for Ruehle to toss out whatever absurd and made-up statistic happens to suit him in his efforts to support his positions.
John B. Greet October 17, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Ok, grown-up commenter time, Ruehle, here's your chance to prove which you are, an adult or a child. Please name the specific medpot collectives in Long Beach (all of which are now {and, really, always have been} illegal by the way) on behalf of which you believe Mr. Schneiter used "...his political connections at city hall to license..." List each of their names and addresses specifically. Once you have done so, present your evidence that supports your accusation in this regard. Note: An article in OC weekly -that offers no proof of its own- can not, in turn, be reasonably considered evidence of anything other than that author's own unfounded opinions and the statements he only *claims* others made, on the record, for his article. List the Collectives and the addresses, and then present your proof that you believe supports the accusation you have lodged here. You have lodged this allegation, Ruehle, so, among adults, the burden of proof lies with you to offer evidence of your accusation. An adult posseses and offers proof when he makes an accusation, Ruehle. A child points fingers and accuses other of things they cannot or will not prove. So which is it, Ruehle? Are you an adult or a child? I think your next response (or lack of one) will sufficiently answer this question one way or the other.

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