Well, the cat is out of the bag.
After I blogged Sunday about Temple 420, where Craig X Rubin, a Jewish convert to Christianity, preaches that marijuana is a sacrament that carries our prays to God and has the ability to alleviate much of the world’s resource scarcity, I got in touch with the reverend. His situation had changed a lot since we last spoke, and I was planning to blog about this today. But then Rubin commented on the previous post and revealed the biggest news: that he never served a day in jail.
This is a far cry from his worst fears last year.
“I am willing to preach the Bible and go to jail if it means getting my message out there,” he told me in February 2007. “I’m a Jewish kid from Beverly Hills who went to UCLA. I could have been a lawyer making $250 an hour like the rest of my friends, or a TV producer. Instead, I’m teaching the Bible, selling weed on Hollywood Boulevard, facing seven years in jail—of course I’m crazy.”
But now things are looking up for Rubin, even if my friends, and others, think he’s faking religious sincerity in search of a legal protection for smoking pot. (Newsflash: A really effective loophole already exists.)
Rubin said the judge gave him permission to “own and operate a marijuana facility” and that he’s raised some cash to lease a building south of his old stomping grounds in Beverly Hills. He said he’s also been working as a pastor at The Family Church, an apparently non-denominational outreach-oriented church that I’m not familiar with, and teaching would-be pastors at its Union Bible College.
“I was ordained by their church too, so I don’t have to say, ‘Universal Life Church’ ordained me any more,” Rubin added, referring to the organization that offers free ordinations online. “Also, I have been attending an orthodox synagogue….I just love G-d….anyway, life sure is interesting…”