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Jewish Journal

Pot church leaders plead guilty

by Brad A. Greenberg

September 7, 2008 | 5:21 pm

Craig X Rubin

Despite Craig X Rubin’s legal problems, it appears Temple 420, the church he created, where cannabis is a sacrament, is still trucking . Many people are skeptical of Rubin’s sincerity of belief. It’s just another loophole, the logic goes, for smoking pot under the auspice of legal protections. Though Rubin has had no legal protections here:

“I JUST WANT TO GET THIS JAIL OVER WITH AND MOVE ON WITH MY LIFE AND FAMILY…I AM NOT A CRIMINAL….” Rubin wrote me in an email this spring, the most recent time we’ve spoken. “I PUT MY FAITH IN THE BIBLE…I KNOW THAT EVEN IF I DIE IN PRISON THAT JESUS IS THE RESURECTION…I MAY BE JEWISH, BUT I KNOW WHAT WHO I AM…AND THAT IS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST (THEY CAN’T KILL US)...I KNOW THIS TOO…CANNABIS IS THE TREE OF LIFE….SO, LOOK WHAT IS HAPPENING…MILLIONS IN JAIL, ON PROBATION AND ON PAROLE…THEY DON’T CALL IT A MARIJUANA CHARGE…THEY CALL IT A PROBATION VIOLATION, BUT THERE ARE LITERALLY MILLIONS OF POOR AND DISENFRANCHISED PEOPLE IN JAIL FOR NOTHING MORE THAN MARIJUANA….BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WASTED…THE STOCK MARKET FALLING…THE GOVERNMENT TAPPING PHONES…LOOKS LIKE GERMERY ALL OVER AGAIN…AT LEAST TO MY FRIENDS WHOSE CHILDREN ARE BEING SEIZED FOR THEIR FAITH THAT CANNABIS IS A HEALING PLANT”

I’m not sure where Rubin is at (I’ve sent an e-mail to find out) but it looks like the use of pot for religious ceremonies, and the punishment that comes with it, has spread.

Dan and Mary Quaintance, founders of the Church of Cognizance, last month pleaded guilty in an Arizona federal district court to two marijuana-related charges. They will now pursue an appeal of the court’s refusal to dismiss charges against them on free exercise grounds. The Arizona-based church which has “monasteries” in members’ homes around the country, has as its motto: “With good thoughts, good words and good deeds, we honor marijuana: as the teacher, the provider, the protector.”

The difference between the Quaintances and Rubin, whose middle name really is X, is that the Church of Cognizance appears to worship marijuana, the giver of life. Rubin, by contrast, preaches from the Bible and prays to God, though one that includes a very different Tree of Life than

most

any theologians would recognize.

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