On November 8, 2006 I, Reverend Craig X Rubin, was arrested along with my son and an employee at my Temple on Hollywood Boulevard. Twenty or so armed officers came into the temple with guns pointed at our heads. One officer told my son that had he moved he would have gladly blown him away. They yelled for us to get up against the wall. Two of our temple members were in the temple at the time and they were let go, but the three of us were arrested and charged with the crime of possession and distribution. The raid happened at 4:20pm because the LAPD have a sense of humor and think the 420 Nation is something to laugh at.
Getting arrested is not for everyone that is for sure. It is similar to a self-imposed depression. My understanding of depression is the inability to stop having negative thoughts. When you get arrested and are facing years in prison the first thing you want to do is cry and feel sorry for yourself, “Woe is me…” and “how could this happen to me?” It is difficult to sleep and get a hard on… nothing is as important as your freedom when suddenly you think you might not have it. That is similar to many things in life; people don’t appreciate what they have until it is gone.
At our weekly Bible services I usually ask people if they want to get up and speak after the sermon. On the weekend after the raid one of our temple members commented on how much he took the sacrament for granted. Anastasio said, “I know that I have only been a member for a few months, but you guys are my family and I didn’t realize how I took getting sacrament from the temple for granted.” He went on to explain that he tried getting sacrament off the street and was beat up by some young punks.
At Temple 420 we feel that whenever the cannabis plant is burned it is putting the person who burns the cannabis on the mount with Moses who receives the Law. The Bible says, “the Lord dwells in the burning bush” and at Temple 420 we take that to heart. We feel that cannabis is the plant mentioned in the book of Revelation that will be for “the healing of all nations,” so we act on that belief by burning cannabis as a sacrament, just as when Jesus said, “Take this bread as my body and this wine as my blood.”
A sacrament is a physical object that has spiritual or unseen meaning. Marijuana has been used as a sacrament throughout history by various cultures. I personally came to use this plant for sacramental purposes through my exposure to the Havasupai Indians of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. As a young man I was somewhat disillusioned by my own Jewish culture. Temple didn’t turn me on, so I found myself drawn toward indigenous philosophies and specifically the traditional people of the Grand Canyon. I began to use the sweat lodge and participate in some of their ceremonies. Eventually, I built my own sweat lodge on my ranch and began to spread what I had learned with my Anglo-friends in Northern Arizona. When I had some personal troubles in my life however I started to read the Bible again and found that it had something to offer me.
I accepted Jesus as the messiah. I saw that He had fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament and having faith in Him gave me the peace in my life that I had been missing even though I was leading a “spiritual” life. I still sweat with the Indians and enjoy taking peyote with them on occasion, although since putting my faith in Jesus my thinking became more Christ centered, but not in my actions. It was then that some of my Christian friends who I had been chatting with on line challenged me to spread the Word. Evangelizing is not really a Jewish thing. As a culture we don’t care if you have faith or not. Many Jews say with sarcasm, “Look what being God’s chosen people has done for us, so why spread the misery?”
When the Jewish man Jeffery Bronfman (Yiddish for ‘whiskey man’), won in the Supreme Court of the United States in the case called “Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita” I was inspired. Mr. Bronfman, whose family had become wealthy during alcohol prohibition as importers of alcohol from Canada to the U.S. (the B.C. bud of that day), had imported 42,000 doses of hoasca with the active ingredient DMT from South America over a six years period and had distributed to members of his church, “O Centro Espirita”. I thought if he could do that… I could finally come out and worship in public as I had been for years, using cannabis as a sacrament.
Therefore, we started Temple 420 on April 20th 2006 only two months after the Supreme Court ruled that what we were doing was legal under both state and federal law. People began to visit the web site and join the temple. One couple wanted me to marry them. They were from New Orleans, Jeff and Sarah, and they flew out from Louisiana after Katrina had ravaged their city and were married at the temple on our opening day July 29th 2006. Shortly after that we started having comedy nights on Thursdays because comedy has healing powers. We taught the Old Testament every Saturday at 4:20PM and on Sundays we taught the New Testament at the same stoner time.
Many people started going to church or temple for the first time in their adult lives. Two Jewish people accepted Jesus on one Sunday. We work with homeless kids to help them get jobs, we got one young porn stars off the streets and into women’s shelter and we even worked with pimps and prostitutes trying to help give them better lives by teaching them to work the Word instead of each other. Our Hollywood ministry is reaching many lost souls in a town that needs people who care. I think that the Father and Son would both be proud of what we are doing in His name.
During the arrest the co-defendants and I were not treated as clergy as we should have been under California Penal Codes 1524 and 1525. Our rights were further violated by the LAPD seizing our sacrament, which we had the legal right to distribute to members of our congregation as recently reaffirmed in “Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita.” We plan on suing the City of Los Angeles once we have won in court and we are continuing to protect people’s right to use cannabis for sacramental purposes all across the nation.
The members of Temple 420 know that cannabis is a benign and benevolent plant that is for the healing of all nations. God gave this plant for man to use for his benefit in the Book of Genesis. Fuel can be made from this plant, and anything that helps end our addiction to Middle East oil is a good thing. The people who use this plant have been cursed, or excommunicated, from religious life, but no longer. Take a stand if you know this to be true.
If this is the type of church and work that you want to support, if this is the type of you group you want to be apart of I am urging you to join us right now in our hour of need. Sow a seed in Temple 420 and help us to survive the pressure being put on us by outside forces, mainly the law enforcement authorities that want to see us perish and walk away from our mission. We won’t give up. Please, don’t give up on us and let the evil forces win. Temple 420 is standing up for everyone’s right to worship the Lord as they wish. If you think that this right should be protected and is worth fighting for than go to Temple420.org and join now!