LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Reverend Craig X Rubin says, “God has called me to do this work. I am spreading the good news of Jesus’ Kingdom to new believers and informing people about the real Tree of Life.” Reverend Rubin is the leader of, a Judeo-Christian pro-marijuana church that doesn’t promote smoking marijuana, but does burn marijuana in its religious ceremonies. “The plant changes from marijuana to the Tree of Life when we burn it just as wine turns to the blood of Christ. Also, we know that our prayers are carried to the heavens on the smoke of this plant.”

For Jewish members Rubin states he is just teaching the principles of the Old Testament, the Ten Commandments (Not Suggestions, his comment), but many Jewish people are coming to New Testament services just to learn about Jesus and the life of historical Jews at that time period in history when Israel was dominated by the Roman Empire.

Reverend Rubin, a history major from UCLA, goes on in his preacher like manner, “I think every nation needs the Bible, but it is my mission to share the Word with the people of the 420 Nation (stoners). I want to lead my people towards the God of the Bible. I take the Book seriously and believe every prophetic word of the Bible will come to pass.”

On the opposing side, the City of Angels is represented by Deputy DA Bob Chen who says possessing and selling cannabis flowers for religious purposes is illegal. Mr. Chen allegedly doesn’t believe church members are sincere in thinking cannabis is the Biblical Tree of Life. He calls their sacrament a smoke screen to possess cannabis, says Rubin.

Rev. Rubin performs candle ceremonyPhoto Caption: Rev. Rubin performs candle ceremony, as shown on KTLA TV channel 5 in L.A.

Temple 420, for its part, is asserting “religious freedom” and seeking the Federal protection under Title 42 of the United States Code commonly referred to as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Mr. Chen says Federal law doesn’t apply in this case because no Federal agents were used. “There is no Federal involvement in this case,” was Mr. Chen’s exact quote from the preliminary hearing. He went on, “This operation was conducted entirely by the LAPD, a local law enforcement agency therefore these Defendants are not entitled to use the Federal defense.”

Rubin asserts that state law can not over rule Federal law. The Pre-Trial Discovery hearing promises to be exciting. Reverend Rubin plans to offer as evidence some heated email exchanges between he and the famous Robert Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro called Reverend Rubin mere hours after he was released from jail saying that he was interested in representing him and asked for a meeting.

It turned out the Reverend Rubin and the other co-Defendants couldn’t afford the services of Mr. Shapiro. Then in a strange coincidence during discovery the Defense team noticed FBI officers and two agents from an “unknown agency,” according to the testimony of Officer Tracye Fields, (Preliminary Hearing testimony given by LAPD #33844 April 9, 2007), going in and out of a private door to a business that Mr. Shapiro is a partner in,

Rubin heatedly asserts, “As soon as I saw the Federal agents going and out of an unmarked private door belonging to a company with ties to Mr. Shapiro I immediately became suspicious. So, I emailed Mr. Shapiro with a brief email demanding to know who asked him to call me even though I knew the answer.”

Robert L. Shapiro wrote Reverend Rubin back on the Fourth of July saying his business partner has asked him to call and then threatened to take legal action against Reverend. The letter writing continued on the Fifth of July with both men asking the other not to write again.

“You should be able to get the precise information in the discovery of your criminal trial,” was the last thing Mr. Shapiro wrote to the Reverend of the cannabis church on the Fifth of July, so that is the Reverend’s plan. In the discovery motion that will be heard on Monday July 16th at 8:30 AM at 210 W. Temple, Department 131, by Judge Strobel, Rubin plans to ask. In the filed motion by Reverend Rubin on July 6th he did just that and asked for all communication between law enforcement agents and Robert Shapiro hoping to prove that Federal agents were involved.

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