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TEMPLE 420 IN SUIT AGAINST LAPD MINISTER CLAIMS RIGHTS VIOLATED WHEN MARIJUANA USED IN SERVICES SEIZED.

Byline: BRAD A. GREENBERG

Staff Writer

The minister of a Hollywood temple that claims to use marijuana to communicate with God filed a $30 million lawsuit Wednesday against the LAPD, alleging his civil and religious rights were violated during a November raid.

The Rev. Craig X Rubin, 41, of Panorama City claims an undercover officer joined Temple 420, ostensibly as a true believer, and gave him money for 3 1/2 grams of cannabis "to be used for religious purposes."

Five days later, the officer secured a search warrant, allegedly omitting information about Temple 420 being a state-registered religious organization, and Los Angeles police raided the strip-mall sanctuary and head shop, seizing cash and marijuana.

When Rubin tried to invoke his constitutional right of free religious exercise, the lawsuit claims, another officer told him Temple 420 didn't constitute a "real religion."

"Our congregation mandates members study the Bible, have faith in God and regularly burn the herb cannabis (The Tree of Life mentioned in the Bible) as sacrament," the lawsuit states. "The police, in violation of the law, seized Temple 420's 'sacrament."'

Kevin Maiberger, an LAPD spokesman, said the department does not comment on litigation.

Rubin, his son and another man have each been charged with two felony drug counts -- selling or transporting marijuana and possessing marijuana for sale. A preliminary hearing is set for April 9 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

A UCLA alum dubbed "Hollywood's Wizard of Weed" by High Times magazine, Rubin created the religious organization last summer. The Jewish convert to Christianity was ordained in 1990 by the Universal Life Church, an interfaith organization that offers "Free Instant Online Ordination."

He preaches from the Bible -- the Old Testament on Saturday and the New Testament on Sunday, always at 4:20 p.m. The temple holds a candlelight Sabbath service at sundown Friday, at which Rubin burns a bud of marijuana and blesses his followers.

Temple members -- there are about 400 -- pay a $100 initiation fee and $100 annual dues, which allows them to purchase marijuana for requested "donations."

brad.greenberg(at)dailynews.com

(818) 713-3634
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aleafinthewind
none of anyones bizness (Member): police are scum-never their when you really need them, they might get hurt 2/8/2010 1:24 PM
Its the old attitude of "I AM THE LAW" but its ok for law enforcement to speed - go through red lights to get to their lunch-kill someone and get covered up and say its the benifits of the job. smug arnt they. we waist so much money on this instead of what we need to be using it for. save tax payers money and stop busting when you could be taxing and help with the deficet as well as the medicinal use of it. its much better than haveing a drink and does not effect one the way alchoal does.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 22, 2007
Words:349
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