LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Craig X Rubin faces years in prison and another trial at the taxpayers expense, as cannabis is something most Californians think should be legal. Recent polls show that 74 percent of residents in California favor taxing and regulating the herb, as opposed to prosecuting offenders. Most Americans know Craig from his stint on Showtime’s “Weeds,” or one of the many films he’s been in, from Super High Me to Totally Baked; but they might soon know him by his prisoner number, as he is facing five years in prison in just a few days.
Rubin is a proponent of pot, having contributed to the final wording of Proposition 215; this real life pastor and college teacher is a graduate of UCLA. He is a full-time pastor at the Family Church in Pasadena and teaches a course to students at the Union Bible College called, The Jewish History of the New Testament, where he emphasizes the fact that the New Testament writers and Jesus himself were all Jewish.
Rubin is more than upset about the arrest, having spent seven days in jail where he dropped 16 pounds, claiming that he didn’t eat for seven days. Rubin is not claiming he wasn’t fed, but saying the food wasn’t consumable. Rubin has a lot of complaints saying, “This prosecution is completely political retribution because of my outspoken stance in favor of cannabis against city officials who waste taxpayers money.”
Rubin has named DEA agents by name as being petty thieves when his Temple 420 was raided three years ago and has the video to back up his statements; he has named the officer who testified against him as a perjurer and again has video evidence (that was not allowed in court); he is an outspoken critic of LAPD Narcotics Division, who Rubin alleges have stolen millions of dollars from people they arrest, pointing out that drugs are a cash business and the temptation is great.
Recently he and another pastor did an investigation of Building and Safety officers in Los Angeles and uncovered what appeared to be the taking of bribes as well as death threats from city employees writing on public web sites about shooting their city managers and fellow co-workers; pointing out when this goes down who is going to say, there were red flags. “The city doesn’t look into any of this stuff, but goes after the person uncovering it,” claims Rubin.
Rubin claims he was given permission by the probation department and Judge Drew Edwards on May 15, 2008, in the court where he was convicted of possessing and selling marijuana, to own and operate a marijuana facility (club). Trutanich has proposed a law that would affect only Rubin as it is already illegal to own and operate a medical pot club while on probation without judges’ and probation’s permission; but a new proposed ordinance would now make it law. The only person of the 1,400 clubs in Los Angeles this changes things for is Rubin.
The Pastor was given permission by the probation department and even has an email from Asha Greenberg dated October 21, 2009 stating,” We have no intention to prosecute at this point.” Rubin says of the prosecution, “It is unjust, as I would have been closed had it not been for the email from Asha Greenberg the day before saying she wasn’t going to prosecute.” At court it was testified to that Asha Greenberg, Deputy District Attorney, was the one who initiated the arrest of the pastor less than 24 hours after writing they wouldn’t prosecute for zoning violations. The entire investigation is dedicated to the fact that Rubin is unlicensed, when in fact he is licensed, and showed officers that fact on the day of the arrest; so they changed the charges to alleged child abuse — charges the judge immediately threw out the first day in court saying, “It is obvious to the court that Rubin went out of his way to protect the young man and make (sure) he was never near marijuana.”
Rubin, on the day of his arrest, his day off, picked up a young man from his church and took him to buy a suit, shoes and a dress shirt. He then stopped by his wife’s T-shirt shop (Tara’s, at 2366 Robertson Blvd.) to get the kid a T-shirt. Rubin owns a medical marijuana club next door to his wife’s shop. Two police officers entered the shop and asked if the owner of the medical club was in. Rubin, having been there for only five minutes, greeted the men, explained how he ran a church-run cannabis dispensary, invited them to his church in Pasadena and offered to answer any of their Bible questions. After presenting ID showing they were qualified patients to buy medical marijuana, which was verified by Dr. James Eisenberg a licensed Calif. M.D., the police then asked to go next door. Since it was Rubin’s day off he did not join them, but stayed with the young man from his church. Within minutes officers entered Rubin’s wife’s store without a warrant, claiming because Rubin was there it suddenly gave them the right to search the place. That would be akin to searching Macy’s because someone on probation was there.
Officers pointed a loaded weapon at the head of an unarmed 11-year child who ran from them and then asked the boy to handle strange pit-bulls that he had never met before. Officers then searched Tara Rubin’s business without a warrant and arrested the mayoral candidate on charges of alleged “child abuse.” When the preliminary hearing came about, it was obvious the DA couldn’t make a case for child abuse and Rubin had all valid permits to be operating his medical marijuana club, which the pastor operates as a church; but it seems that the Constitution doesn’t mean anything these days anyway. At Rubin’s last trial the judge ruled Rubin could not even mention the U.S. Constitution for fear it “might confuse the jury.” In the current case the DA is now claiming that Rubin is not a qualified caregiver and therefore should go to jail for years.
Rubin, a Glenn Beck fan, says “Our Constitution is gone anyway when government agents can get normal law abiding citizens to do acts they are told are legal and then arrest them for it.” Rubin had permission from a judge, the probation department, a license from the City of Los Angeles for Selling Medical Marijuana, and he paid his taxes for the medical marijuana he sold on time.
Rubin doesn’t understand where the crime is; but the taxpayers of Calif. could be paying to lock him away for up to 12 years starting this Monday if Steven Cooley and Carmen Trutanich get their way. Rubin won’t see the last four of his seven children graduate high school. Cooley recently stated, “100 percent of medical marijuana clubs are illegal,” and has decided to start with the prosecution of the Pastor and his church once again.
Rubin’s wife and children are currently living in a hotel as the city has once again taken all of the money the family had. The pastor is sleeping on the floor of his church as he tries to sell the lease and raise money for his family prior to his incarceration. Says Rubin, “Personally, I think Cooley and Trutanich should spend a week in County Jail. They stole the money my wife worked for over the last six months and the funds were in no way commingled with the church’s money. These guys are thieves stealing peoples lives savings without a hearing prior to any conviction.”
The DA’s office is acting like a criminal organization threatening to jail council woman Jan Perry, going after homeless people, threatening one of the city’s best corporate contributors (AEG) and now trying to lock up a pastor with a licensed church, a specialty permit who is only trying to help sick people. At what point does America start to look like the Soviet Union?
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