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Weho Dispensary Owner Primary Suspect in Drug Ring Bust

Authorities allege that Andrew Kramer, owner of the Zen Healing Collective, along with other suspects used violence and threats to strongarm competition.

Andrew Kramer, owner of West Hollywood's Zen Healing Collective, is at the center of a mult-agency investigation into a drug ring accused of attempting to edge out competiton using arson and attempted homicide.

Kramer, 38, Rene Johnson, 50, and Jonathan Livingston, 43, were arrested on 46 felony counts Tuesday, following a law enforcement raid of four Los Angeles-area dispensaries, including the Zen Healing Collective and Alternative Herbal Health Services in West Holywood.

Beverly Hills Lieutenant Lincoln Hoshino of the Beverly Hills Police Department did not elaborate on what role the Weho dispensaries played in the alleged drug ring. However, on Wednesday afternoon he said that Beverly Hills residents, landlords and dispensary owners were the victims of alleged "intimidation, arson and death threats."

He added that Kramer "had enough influence to be one the of the primary suspects."

Among the alleged crimes perpetrated by the drug ring, Hoshina said, were arsons to both a motor vehicle and a residence. The suspects have also been accused of attempted murder.

Asked by what means the suspects attempted to make their kill, Hoshina responded that they "tried to burn someone up."

Dispensaries in Marina Del Ray and Santa Monica were also searched during Tuesday's raid, which was executed Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Los Angeles police departments, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S Secret Service.

"Over the course of this investigation, detectives have seized millions in cash and proceeds from this criminal enterprise," Hoshino said.

George April 18, 2013 at 07:05 AM
So glad that one is gone.!VERY low class! The building is ruined I'm sure. That substance gets into the walls and becomes toxic. Worse than mold.
Glyn April 18, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Hey Paul how about sticking to facts and not made up bs. You do not do your cause any favors by lying.
Profes Shivers April 18, 2013 at 08:37 PM
Where do you GET this stuff? Peddle your nonsense elsewhere.
Lisa Tyler April 18, 2013 at 09:10 PM
You have no clue what you're talking about.
George April 19, 2013 at 07:18 AM
Kudos to law enforcement of their hard work to rid West Hollywood of organized crime going on under the radar. Shut them all down!!!
Robert M. Gilchrest April 19, 2013 at 12:58 PM
In June 2010, Andrew Kramer was found liable for compensatory and punitive damages by a jury for using force to take over a dispensary. He is no saint.
fiona gonsier April 20, 2013 at 08:51 PM
The allegations that are alledged seem to be based on hearsay and testimony by individuals that are known to have lied previously to get reduced sentances.
George April 20, 2013 at 10:50 PM
The young Boston bomber was a pot smoker according to his friends and schoolmates. Drugs are ruining our youth.
SickenedVetran April 21, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Paul... you're as bad as a nazi. Spread your hate somewhere else. you should be ashamed to judge and spit hate. i cant believe you compared a terrorist to a patient who uses non-pharmaceutical medicine. shame shame....
George April 21, 2013 at 05:56 AM
For sick folks who absolutely need pot for pain I am all in favor of that but not for those who use it just to get high in order to escape their personal woes.
Dan April 21, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Paul stick to something your good at taking a big you know what right up the corn hole. You don't know Andrew and he is a great guy and very good friend of mine. He was running a legitimate business and is one of the original stores that was legal by the 1996 compassionate act. In the state of California it's legal to buy prescription marijuana if you get a doctors prescription for 1 year. Every year the doctor reevaluates your health and if he thinks medical marijuna. Is helping then he prescribes it to you for another year. West hollywood has lost a great business owner who's money that he makes is taxable income for the state of california that bankrupted.
George April 21, 2013 at 05:36 PM
Again, this dangerous drug should be used ONLY if a person needs it to control pain or for increase one's appetite. Under proper medical supervision it can be helpful. People getting their hands on this through unscrupulous doctors who just write prescription out willy nilly need to be jailed. Isn't that why Michael Jackson's doctor is in prison now?
Pastor Scott T. Imler April 21, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Don't mean to question your friendship with Andrew or your belief in his righteousness consistent with the provisions of Proposition 215, but your letter lays out clearly why Andrew and the entire medical marijuana movement are in such a damn mess. The general problem is that so many users and pot-shop operators support a medical marijuana law that they wish we had passed - rather than the law that we actually passed, which as the co-author of Proposition 215 and a member of the seven person Drafting Team of the Attorney General's Statewide MedMar Task Force developed Senate Bill 420. Simply put, Prop 2115 did NOT legailze the sale marijuana, not even for medical use. Nowhere in the laaw will you find he words "dispensary, buyer's club, pot club, or reefer room." Prop 215 was a medical defense bill, written to provide state judges with statutory language on which to base the dismissal of marijuana related charges against legitimate patients who found themselves in trouble.
Pastor Scott T. Imler April 21, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Proposition 215 was not intended to spawn a new industry, our naivete about that possibility notwithstanding. What Prop 215 did inherently allow and which Senate Bill 420 specifically codified is that patients and their specified caregivers can cultivate marijuana for the personal medical use of that patient. SB 420 acknowledges that what we can do legally by ourselves we can also cooperatively do with others who are similarly situated -- namely, grow it together and share among the qualified patients the harvest and the costs as needed and as able. Nowhere in that construction do "sales" gain legitimate life of their own - although none of the politicians or tax bureaucrats, who want the seriously ill to mitigate the folly of the state's spending and tax-break addictions. Bankrupt? No problem. We'll just let the AIDS and cancer patients pick up the tab.
Pastor Scott T. Imler April 21, 2013 at 08:51 PM
The vast majority of marijuana dispensaries are not distributing cooperatively grown marijuana to a fixed body of qualified patients. In a "215 cooperative," each patient member already owns the marijuana so no "sale" is necessary But many non "215 cooperative" dispensaries are simply re-selling blackmarket acquired products, the source, purity, and safety of which cannot be established in an open and accountable manner. If you are "selling" medical marijuana you are breaking the law. If you are a "sole owner" of a dispensary you are breaking the law - no matter how many tax dollars you spoon feed the government. in your search for legitimacy. Between the "potrapeneurs" and political bodies like the LA City Council who waited 13 years after the passage of Prop 215 to even consider any action, is it any wonder things are such a mess. While I recognize that the courts have moved the parameters of the playing field with many of their rulings, we still ought to be implementing the law we passed rather than the one folks wished we had passed.
Profes Shivers April 22, 2013 at 01:35 PM
No. You are wrong. It doesn't matter what you passed or think you passed. Stop playing word games. It should be decriminalized AND legalized. It is safer than alcohol. It is not a gateway. I started smoking at 18 and had a VERY well-respected teaching career in a small town for 32 years. Why should my friends/colleagues/former students and I have been subject to arrest? It's the 21st century, not the Dark Ages. Cannabis lies are easily debunked.
George April 22, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Shivers is rationalizing his bad behavior. This is common practise among addicts. STOP making excuses!!!!! You are a little long in the tooth for acting up. Use what little brain cells you have left and get into rehab. Good luck!!!!
Pastor Scott T. Imler April 23, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Hate to break the news to you Profes, but that is what the law is about - words. How they are used and what they mean. I don't take issue with the basic point you make about the negative effects of prohibition. It seems to me that many of the worst problems in society around drugs are the responses of those who don't use them and don't want you to use them. It's a discussion worth having,and probably a law that needs changing. But medical use and social or recreational use both have benefits and risks. Let them each stand or fall on their own merits and let folks express an informed opinion rather than scratching the nose of one to wiggle the tail of the other. Prop 215 was designed and written for physician supervised medical use. If you want to legalize weed, have at it. 700,000 signatures will get you on the ballot and the polls look good these days. Debunk away.
Profes Shivers May 02, 2013 at 03:25 AM
Addict? Ha! I smoke perhaps 3 or 4 times a week. Mythologize away though--you're all so good at it. As soon as the old guard die away, it will be the norm. It has ever been thus for progress to take hold.
Caspian Thomas May 07, 2013 at 08:30 AM
people who don't smoke should really sit down and shut up, there are way more things that are happening that are way worse then people who want to smoke pot, they have been smoking since time began and they will smoke till the end of time get a life Paul and get over it be a real man and voice your opinions in public to some ones face and not hidden away behind a computer
archie's bunker May 07, 2013 at 01:20 PM
Refer Madness, eh Paul? I'm sure many appreciate your concern for other's health, and "what little brain cells" they may have. But beyond your concern for others, how does what others do in the privacy of their own home, without harm to others, affect you? Perhaps, you are concerned that IT is contagious, and that freedom of thought might catch up to you too---but alas, methinks it unlikely...so don't worry yourself so.

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